Philip Selznick's classic book, The Organizational Weapon: A Study of Bolshevik Strategy and Tactics (1952) has been republished this year, and I can't think of a better book for nationalists to buy and read. I've read the book about four times.
Some of the best books on communism are written by non-communists. J. Edgar Hoover's Masters of Deceit (1958) is surprisingly good. Another more recent book, which looks at communism in practice (in an era communists would like to forget) is Victor Sebestyen's 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire (2009). In general, the non-communist authors give the reader a better idea of communist practice, of strategy and tactics, than the works of Lenin, Mao, Trotsky, Stalin and their followers. The standard communist practice of infiltrating trade unions and other groups with a view to taking them over isn't mentioned, except obliquely, in the communist canon; neither is the other practice, the setting of 'front groups' (dummy organisations) usually organised by communists but often with non-communist figure heads ('dupes' or 'fellow travellers') to give them an aura of respectability. (The US-based ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) gives an example of one such front group). Communist theorists tend to leave those subjects off the table and prefer to train their activists in these arts off-camera, so to speak. The likes of Selznick and Hoover are under no such constraints.
Even though Selznick's book was written sixty years ago, it, and communism, still remain relevant. In fact, they are more relevant than ever. The election of a gay, dope-smoking Marxist negro to the White House - twice - shows this; so does Ferguson, where trained communist agitators worked in concert with the Marxist Obama administration and a pliant, left-liberal 'progressive' US media to bring about a race riot. (On that note, the exacerbation of racial divisions, with a view to inducing violence and riots, is a time-honoured American communist tactic. Yockey writes, in Imperium in 1948: 'Bolshevism and Culture-distortion did not miss the potentialities of the Negro for purposes of inner disintegration and race war... Trials of Negroes for felony in the Southern states are made the object of wide-spread and intense Communist propaganda along the old lines of “equality” and “tolerance.” The Communist party supplies counsel to Negroes accused of crime'). The control of the Democrat Party by the Marxist wing (and the consequent ouster of the old, trade-union and social democratic wing from the party leadership) is the fruit of decades of communist labour. Communist activists worked to infiltrate the party and pervert it and twist it to their purposes. This - the communist perversion of an institution such as a party or a trade union or student group and the directing it away from the purposes for which it was originally founded - is one of the themes of Selznick's book.
Selznick gives us the chance to 'know thy enemy'; he also allows us to 'know thyself'. I must confess that, when I read the book, it's as though I see myself in a mirror. He does mention, at several points, fascism and Nazism, and details the similarities between the two creeds - fascism and communism. People who don't see those similarities are not thinking properly - they are making an intellectual error which consists of examining what communism says and not what it does and by concentrating too much on communist theory and not enough on communist practice. It's true that, on quite a few points, the communists will differ from the fascists quite dramatically - i.e., they will nationalise everything once in power whereas the fascists won't; on the whole, however, if we are to look at how the two ideologies go about things, we will see similarities.
Firstly, let's look at communist objectives. According to Selznick (from a review by Herbert Blumer ),
The objective of the communists, Selznick shows, is not so much to indoctrinate the masses of people with an ideology, or to seize control of the Government in traditional revolutionary style, but instead to seek conquest of the strategic functioning units in a society—groups such as labor unions, veteran organizations, youth groups, the unemployed, indeed any group which offers a base for expanding operations. Thus, the effort of communists becomes primarily one of seeking initial toeholds in groups and institutions which will offer in turn means of moving progressively to greater conquests of power until the control of the social apparatus of a society is secured.
To secure 'power', the communists don't need to win elections. The conservative Rush Limbaugh made this point regarding Obama:
The sooner people figure it out... I can't fathom not understanding it six years in, but clearly people still don't get it or don't want to admit it. But it's time to get with the program and understand exactly what we're dealing with here, and it's unique. It's not the standard, "He's just the latest Democrat president. The Republicans are in opposition." This is far more involved than just that.
We've got the Democrat Party has become radicalized. They're not just the usual bunch of corrupt thieves and thugs that they've always been. There is a radical, radical, liberal element in the Democrat Party which doesn't need to win elections in order to implement what they believe throughout the strata of this country. That's the purpose of community organizations like ACORN.
They don't need to win elections in order to corrupt the institutions they don't like. Obama, he doesn't need to win. Okay, so he lost the election. Big whoop! That isn't gonna stop him from doing what he wants; it's not gonna stop his fellow community organizers or his fellow liberals. I mean, they'll take election victories, yeah, hubba hubba, but they do not get stymied when they lose them.
The traditional old hat -- the typical union, corrupt-thug, Harry Reid/Pelosi wing of the Democrats-- yeah. Now, they get upset when they lose, and there's hell to pay when they lose. 'Cause they do everything they do legislatively. Now, they work with the new liberal wing, the community organizer wing like Obama. They work with 'em. Occupy Wall Street.
But Occupy Wall Street and the militant environmentalist wacko movement and the pro-choice wackos, they are gonna continue to be organizing and causing friction and doing whatever the hell they can do to upset things, whether they win or lose. This is what I don't think is understood, widely understood by a lot of otherwise really smart Republicans.
It's an astute piece of analysis on Limbaugh's part. The communist (or the Nazi) has to ask himself the hypothetical question: given that we are unlikely to win a democratic election under these present circumstances (which are unfavourable to us), how do we 'get power'? State power is out of reach. But there are sources, or focal points, of power, and this is where the communists (and the fascists) direct their energies. One can get to the masses, not through an appeal to the 'average joe' or 'average voter', but through mass organisations and groups. This is how power is attained (Blumer again):
The mass is conceived not as an amorphous and diffused aggregate but as consisting of specialized groups and organizations which are favorably located and which are or may be sources of power. Such groups and institutions become the targets for the power seeking efforts of the communists.
So if you grab hold of the trade unions, the student groups, the police force, the churches, the army, women's groups, you will, in effect, multiply the power of your organisation over society. In fact, if you have seized hold of these institutions and these sectors of society (women, religious people, trade unionists, youth), you then get to determine the political. You can declare that such-and-such an election result didn't reflect the 'will of the people' and was thereby 'undemocratic'; you can then demand that it be revoked, cancelled, and your party - whether it be fascist or communist - be given power, or at least a seat at the table. So much power (in effect) has been accumulated by this point that state power becomes almost an afterthought. That is, your fascist or communist party de facto runs the country already - through its control of the unions, the churches, the universities - that state power (as possessed by the liberal democratic parties) almost becomes superfluous.
This is a big ask, for any group of any persuasion - it's impossible to control all the students, all the churches, all the trade unions. No communist or fascist party has managed to do that, at least before the seizure of state power (after that, all the trade unions, churches, student groups can be brought under state control). So the tactic becomes one of inserting a fraction in each social grouping. Either the fascists and communists infiltrate their own operatives into existing trade union and church, student, youth, groups, or they create their own from scratch. The idea is to get footings, toeholds... Which is why the NSDAP, for example, created a number of organisations - the SA and SS, the Hitlerjugend (for youth), the National Socialist women's groups, the NSBOs (National Socialist Factory Cell Organisation) and others. These groups - which are mass groups and extra-parliamentary, that is, political while being at the same time outside the purview of the state - serve a dual function. Before the seizure of state power, they serve as an alternative to the state, a state (as it were) within the state and thereby a challenge to the state; after the seizure, they become compulsory - youth are forced to enrol in the Hitlerjugend, the trade unions are forced to amalgamate into the DAF (German Labour Front). New highly politicised state institutions are formed to replace the old, e.g., the Gestapo, formed by Goering in 1933 - a political police. This process is what occurred in Italy in 1922 and Germany in 1933, and in the Eastern European states after 1945 - and elsewhere where a communist party has won state power.
To bring about this form of state (which Selznick identifies as 'totalitarian'), one needs a special type of organisation, one Selznick calls the 'combat party'. Here is Blumer again:
The foundation for this line of effort is the formation of the communist party—a "combat party" consisting of an elite of reliable agents who are thoroughly indoctrinated, skillfully trained and rigidly disciplined. The integrity of the combat party is developed and preserved by the psychological insulation of its members and by the rigid prohibition of internal disputes over aims or objectives. This gives a reliable and tightly-knit membership which may be mobilized, manipulated, deployed and directed as needed by the policy and strategy of the directing leadership...
The combat party is the instrument employed to utilize and direct for party ends the potential energy resident in the mass of people.
Selznick spends a great deal of time detailing the characteristics of the combat party. The essential thing is that all the communist factions - Stalinist, Trotskyite, Maoist, Hoxhaite, Brezhnevite, what have you - rely upon the combat party, that the communist party is built upon the combat party; the same goes for the historical fascist parties, the NSDAP, the Italian PNF and others. That's clear enough from the historical record.
Now, once you accept Selznick's characterisation of the 'totalitarian' ideologies of communism and fascism, you'll say to yourself, 'I like the sound of this "combat party", I think it sounds jolly good; I want to build it, and I want to build it now. How do I do it?'. The question becomes an instrumental one: how do I go about achieving this goal, what measures do I need to undertake... the answer is that you - as a fascist or a communist - need to examine the human material available; it becomes a matter of finding the right sort of man to be a member, and preferably a cadre member, of your party. The task becomes one of recruitment and training; you need to find the right sort of person to be a soldier - and Selznick uses many military metaphors in his book - for your army.
On this note, many of the criticisms (made by those in the nationalist scene) directed against those claiming to be 'National Socialist' or (what the mainstream media calls) neo-Nazi comes down to this: they aren't adequate human material, they are unsuited as soldiers in a fascist 'combat party'. The uniformed George Lincoln Rockwell / Gary Lauck types, the skinheads, simply don't cut it; they don't measure up to the standards of the historical organisations such as the NSDAP or the PNF - they are not fit to be Italian Blackshirts or SA or SS men. Notable exceptions exist, of course: I've seen (in German documentaries) east German skinheads who seem to be good organiser types, and just about anyone in nationalism knows a 'good skinhead' or good Rockwell-type former uniform-wearer who is cadre level, real or potential. But the exception proves the rule.
The second criticism is that the Craig Cobb-types, the George Lincoln Rockwell-types, the tattooed
skinhead-types, through their appearance and their behaviour, end up isolating themselves from the masses that they want to win over to their cause. In other words, the tattoos, the homemade SA uniforms, the shaven heads, the brandishing of old fascist and Nazi symbols, the eccentric antics - all constitute a major turn-off. At some point, when interacting with the non-nationalist public, one has to be honest, open and upfront about one's true beliefs. But that doesn't excuse downright eccentricity, exhibitionism and obnoxiousness, and besides which, one can get very far in politics by obscuring one's beliefs and hiding behind a mask. Look at Obama, for instance. We know that he came from a radical leftist background and is a Marxist, but he and the rest of his faction with the Democrat Party have been clever enough to cover their tracks. Through their subterfuge, they cause confusion and doubt in the minds of their critics ('Is Obama a radical Marxist, or is he just an extreme liberal?'). The Obama administration represents the Marxist subversion, not of a trade union or a church group, but the office of the presidency itself - an extraordinary accomplishment - and the Democrat Party. Obama and his gang couldn't have gotten where they are now without concealment and the practicing of deception on the American public. As Selznick writes, one of the most pressing needs of the communist party is the maintenance of access to the mass organisations it seeks to capture: the communists know that they won't get anywhere with the trade unions, youth groups, churches, if they let on that they are communist - if they conspicuously display their allegiance to the Soviet Union, brandish their communist symbols and call for the overthrow of the state and all existing institutions and their replacement with a communist order. They understand, only too well, that the general public - especially in an Anglo-Saxon country - has been conditioned to hate and fear communism (this was at the time that Selznick wrote his book). They castigate, and rightly so, the open, flagrant Marxists as 'sectarian', 'isolationist', 'left-opportunist', 'dogmatist' - that is, the obnoxious and exhibitionistic Marxists are criticised for giving the game away, or giving it away too early. The communists know this, but we neofascists and neo-Nazis don't.
Metapedia gives a good summary of neo-Nazism in its entry on 'National Socialism after World War II' and makes mention of the 'sectarian', 'isolationist' tendency in the neofascist movement:
National Socialism after World War II refers to the National Socialist worldview as it has developed since the collapse of the Greater German Empire in 1945, following the Second World War. In Germany, the primary successor of the NSDAP was the Socialist Reich Party (1949-1952) led by General Otto Ernst Remer. As well as this, some former National Socialists worked for a variety of governments, from South America to Egypt: some highly skilled scientists were also poached from Germany by the Soviets and the Americans (Operation Paperclip), but this is unlikely to have constituted any sort of NS ideological continuity. Some prominent figures such as Léon Degrelle and Otto Skorzeny found refuge in Spain under Franco and founded CEDADE.
Aside from this, in the broader category of European social nationalism, there have also been some German participants, most of which were associated with National Pan-Europeanism during the 1950s, hoping to form a European third position, free from both Americanism and Sovietism. The German Reich Party, where many former NSDAP members were to be found after the Socialist Reich Party were outlawed, signed the Declaration of Venice. Francis Parker Yockey, an American dissident based in London, also helped to mould these ideas.
Outside of this, some non-German groups began dressing up in quasi-Brownshirt uniforms and providing a Hollywood Nazi caricature of National Socialism. This was especially prominent in the United States since the 1960s, due to the influence of George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazi Party (he was from a family of vaudeville actors). This farce continues on today in various forms. It does not constitute serious political activism and is essentially a drinking club hobby for eccentrics. Nevertheless, Jewish groups such as the SPLC and the ADL of B'nai B'rith have used them, sometimes directly (see Frank Cohen✡) to discredit serious American nationalist efforts, promote Holocaustianity and create the "Neo-Nazi" caricature.
This brings us to another important point. Like communism, neo-Nazism preaches loyalty, unswerving devotion and patriotism towards to two things - the party and the fatherland. Selznick speaks of the communism 'party patriotism' and the patriotism towards the 'Soviet Fatherland', and how even communist parties outside of the USSR were expected (so long as they were aligned with the Kremlin) to be fierce patriots for a country which is not their own, that is, the Soviet Union. Even the anti-revisionist communists - that is, the communists who broke from the USSR - were patriots, the Maoists for China, the Hoxhaites for Albania. As a movement, communism relied on these fatherlands and fell into disarray once these fatherlands ceased to exist. Many mainline pro-Soviet communist parties (including the powerful Australian Communist Party) wound up with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991; the Hoxhaite formations went down the same year. Maoism, in the West, more or less collapsed after the arrest of the Gang of Four and the rise to power Deng Xiaopeng in 1976-77. (Only the Trotskyites have survived, probably because they were never as committed to the Soviet Union as the mainline communist parties were. They were loyal and patriotic towards the USSR, most of them regarding it as a 'deformed worker's state', that is, a good nation and a good system with bad 'Stalinist' leadership, but on the whole didn't rely on the USSR for diplomatic and financial - and moral - support). Trotskyites aside, the communists in the West by 1990 were in the same position as the neo-Nazis: they had no existing fatherland to feel loyalty to, they had no party, and they had no great and wise men to look up to as leaders and teachers. (There's an interesting parallel between Maoism and fascism: none of these movements survived the deaths of their leaders. Maoism, German National Socialism and Italian Fascism ceased to exist in the same years as the deaths of Mao, Hitler and Mussolini respectively. By way of contrast, Soviet communism was far more robust and survived the 'bad' leaders Khrushchev and Stalin - the former was toppled in an internal party coup, the latter disgraced after his death. North Korean communism has continued because North Korea is, like Assad's Syria, ruled by a dynasty. It remains to be seen whether or not Cuban communism survives the deaths of the Castro brothers). The bottom line is that, while it's wonderful to live in a world of political ideals, in order for a political movement to survive, it needs something tangible to point to as the embodiment of that ideal - either Mao's China or Hoxha's Albania or Brezhnev's USSR or Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy. Soviet communism was an extension of Soviet power, Maoism Chinese power, fascism the Third Reich's power. Take away that state, and the political movement most associated with it is bereft.
Creative ways around this obstacle exist, however. The Marxists who infiltrated and now control the Democrat Party have followed the same strategy advocated by Trotsky in the 'French Turn' period of the 1930s: that is, Marxists have practised entryism on a respectable social democratic party. But these Marxists in the Democrat Party don't appear to belong to any one Marxist-Leninist party. What's more, Obama isn't a hardened communist cadre man. He is, in effect, another Martin Luther King - a man of little intellectual achievement who is a black radical and Marxist masquerading as a 'liberal' and 'progressive' and a charlatan who is good at fooling white people. This is what makes the case of Obama and the Democrats almost the reverse mirror image of the application of traditional communist 'combat party' strategy and tactics. Communist infiltrators are usually under the direction of a centralised, authoritarian single communist party and are trained and heavily-indoctrinated party men of great leadership ability - in other words, cadre men. But by not following the traditional communist path, the Democrat Party Marxists have succeeded where, it should be noted, the traditional Marxists failed. Entryism nearly always fails, as we know from history: the French Trotskyists who followed the 'French Turn' strategy were turfed out of the SFIO (French Section of the Worker's International) which was the social democratic target of the entryists; likewise, the Trotskyite Militant Tendency faction was expelled from the British Labour Party in the 1980s. There's a message there for we nationalists. (For evidence of widespread Marxist infiltration of the Democrat Party, especially at the lower, grass-roots levels, see the New Zealand conservative Trevor Loudon's site, KeyWiki). The message is: rigidity and dogmatism when it comes to one's absolute goal, flexibility when it comes to the tactics to be used in the short term.
There are those on the Far Left who are critical of Obama and the Democrats, of course: Obama is still blowing up Muslims with drones, and he hasn't pulled the troops out of Afghanistan or closed Guantanamo (or recognised Cuba); he hasn't turned the US into what Selznick calls a 'totalitarian' state yet. But these leftists simply don't recognise Obama's Marxist achievements. Obama's ultimate objective is to turn the US into a Venezuelan or Cuban style state where the majority of the population are dependent on the state for support. He is gradually steering the US towards that goal. Reliance at food stamps is at record levels, the US participation rate (a measure which records how many Americans are in work or are looking for work) is at the lowest level in nearly thirty years. As for the 'totalitarianism', well, what Obama calls 'change' (that is, progress towards communism) doesn't happen overnight; the leftist Obama critics should be chided for not thinking 'dialectically', as the Marxists say, that is, not looking at the big picture.
The communists in the US managed to get their act together after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; surely we neofascists can get our act together after the fall of Germany and Italy in 1945. The road is hard and long, but recent events in the US show that human nature hasn't changed much since the 1920s and 1930s (despite the repeated protestations, from some quarters in the nationalist movement, that 'You can't go back to the 1930s'). If Marxism can win the presidency in the US - one of the countries which is the most resistant to the socialist and communist ideologies - then surely neo-Nazism / neofascism can get a toehold in Australia.
A real test for any political idea is to speak about it in front of an audience. That's something I've done with the ideas on this blog this year; I've road-tested the ideas and put them before a sympathetic audience of people of at a speaker's club, following Mao's edict 'From the masses, to the masses'. What I've discovered, for myself, has now given me the conviction that anyone in politics should devote most of their time and energy to speaking to a live audience - in fact, 80% of a politician's job is speaking to people, the other 20% travelling around the country to speak to people. It's only through live speaking that one determine what it is that the people want. After my first speech for the year, an old kamerad congratulated me and then made a few criticisms - good criticisms - of some of the points I raised. After that and after overhearing some of the topics of conversation of the attendees after the speech, I changed my tack. I've learned that the nationalist and Far Right base in this city - and this country - most of all wants to hear about, and talk about, Hitler, German National Socialism, fascism, WWII, Holocaust Revisionism, anti-Semitism, and, of all the political forms, is the most sympathetic to those advocated in Yockey's Imperium (without having read the book). They feel the most enthusiasm for these. This is because fascism or national socialism or whatever you want to call it is, for the West, a new Idea (at this juncture in our history) and thereby attracts the most devotion and enthusiasm. A hundred and fifty years ago, things were different: then - at the time of the Italian wars of reunification, of the Greek war of independence, of the revolution of 1848 - the Idea was nationalism. One couldn't stop the intellectuals, and the masses themselves, from talking about, and feeling passion for, the idea that the peoples of a nation were unified by ethnicity and language, and that these people - and not the monarchs of Europe - should be given sovereignty (a very dangerous idea at the time, this one). Today's 'dangerous idea' is neo-Nazism or neofascism (although many in the nationalist movement strenuously object to the use of the word 'Nazi' or 'fascist', recognising that these are loaded words). This is what people - at least, people on the Far Right today - feel the most passion and enthusiasm for. One needs that fire, because without it, Selznick's 'combat party', the cadres, the fractions and cells, the party schools, the political lectures, the study groups, the guided discussions, the party newspapers, are cold, grey and lifeless. They are mechanistic and are taken up by political activists without enthusiasm or conviction.