Monday, February 9, 2015
Strategy and Tactics for 2015: Winning Over the Left on Islam
I recently penned an article on the Charlie Hebdo massacre for another site. In it I played with a few ideas - booting them around as though they were footballs - and put forward an unusual one: an alliance between the Far Right and the Far Left against Islam.
Definitions are all-important in politics, and in order to clarify what I meant by an 'alliance', I have to define what the 'Far Left' and 'Far Right' (in the West) are. In the article, I analysed the main political tendencies in the West today and identified three: Islam (which has been brought to Western soil by millions of Muslim immigrants); the Far Right (a broad designation which includes everyone from neo-Nazi skinheads to Geert Wilders); and the liberal democrats (socialists, communists, anarchists, progressive liberals on the Left and libertarians, neoliberals and conservatives on the Right). The liberal democrats, or liberals, as I call them, act in partnership with Western and Israeli Jewry.
Both categories (Jewish and liberal) overlap, of course, and we find plenty of Jewish conservatives, neoconservatives, neoliberals, communists and anarchists. But there is a portion of the Jewish intelligentsia which preoccupies itself exclusively with (what Gilad Atzmon calls) 'Jewishness' and for this group within Jewry, 'Jewishness' overrides everything else - including politics. Think of Benjamin Netanyahu or Bernard-Henry Lévi. Even Atzmon himself, I would argue, hasn't managed to escape his 'Jewishness' - most of his writings are about it.
If we were to recap the political history of the West for the past 80 or so years, we would arrive at this summary. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Far Right (fascism and extreme conservatism of the Petain and Franco type) fought a pitched battle against liberals (Roosevelt and Churchill) who worked together, then as now, with Jewry (Roosevelt's and Churchill's political and financial backers). The liberal-Jewish partnership acted in concert with the third force, the communists (who, at the time, served the purposes of a foreign power - Russia). The liberal / Jewish and communist coalition managed to defeat the Far Right, although they couldn't destroy it entirely. As the years passed, the Soviet Union faded away and its followers in the West dispersed. The liberal / Jewish alliance became the winner, the sole power in Europe. But it made a crucial mistake: it allowed millions of Muslims to emigrate and thereby the formation of a new political power on European and Western soil. As we have seen from the Paris massacre, Islam in the West challenges the state's monopoly on coercion and violence; it has been doing so for quite some time and will be doing so for a long time into the future. As to whether or not the liberal opponents of Islam (and their Jewish coalition partners) will emerge victorious from a struggle against Islam, the answer is no, by my estimation. That bleak assessment is shared by many of the liberals, most of whom, of course, won't voice it publicly.
Today's unusual political situation has shaken up the status quo. The Jewish side of the Jewish / liberal partnership usually likes immigration of any sort, but Islamic immigration, and the formation of Muslim ghettoes in Europe, 'makes Jews nervous'. As for the liberals, the dominant faction of that group wants as many as immigrants - Muslim, African, Indian, Mestizo, you name it - as possible, but a minority within the liberal camp is beginning to have second thoughts about the Muslim.
As for the Far Right, the tide is beginning to shift in its favour. The decline of the American empire has led to a slackening of the liberals' grip on Europe; the European Far Right has managed to acquire itself some breathing space. On top of that, Far Right ideas - on race, immigration, Jewry, the Holocaust, WWII - have spread like wildfire. We can see this merely by looking at the comments sections in the online news every day: an establishment media article will appear denouncing PEGIDA, and the comments section will be bombarded by criticisms - from sometimes hundreds of different posters - tearing the article to shreds. The liberals, who organise the anti-PEGIDA, pro-Islam counter-demonstrations, don't compete against this and show no signs of wanting to do so.
Having said that, the Far Right hasn't yet taken power in any Western country, and among the reasons for that is that it lacks allies. Often it's the case that one political tendency will need the aid of another to attain power. The NSDAP needed Hugenberg's DVP (German People's Party) in 1933; the Czech communists, the Czech social democrats in 1948. Even the Bolsheviks relied upon the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries for a time, and Lenin's brand of Marxism was built upon an alliance between the workers and the peasantry.
In order to compensate for its lack of allies, certain sections of the Far Right have - for at least 15 years - attempted to appeal to the Jewish side of the Jewish and liberal alliance. That is, they have tried to steal away Jewry from the liberals by offering them blandishments - more support for Israel, more protection for 'nervous' Jews from Muslims. The parties which take this route - Wilders' Party of Freedom, Åkesson's Swedish Democrats, Le Pen's Front National and others - seek to buy respectability. This has made the liberals furious, because the Zio-Populists are impinging on their territory: the Jews are their friends, not the friends of the right-wing radicals.
This 'Wilders strategy' is leading nationalists down the wrong path, however. The Zio-Populists do more good than harm, and even the professional anti-Islamic intellectuals and publicists (some of them Jews) such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Dr Bill Warner, Bat Ye'or, Daniel Pipes, Ibn Warraq do more good than harm - at the least, they raise the racial consciousness of Westerners. This is why the liberals despise them and accuse them of 'racism' (even though Islam is a religion, not a race). But, even though the Zio-types do raise awareness, and they do infuriate the liberals, we nationalists - especially those of us on the neofascist and neo-Nazi side - shouldn't feel obliged to follow their example. My argument is that, instead of trying to win over the Jewish side of the Jewish / liberal alliance, we could try another target: the radical Left. They, perhaps more than any political tendency, stand to lose the most under Sharia. They will come to a realisation of this, and, I predict, will eventually back away from Islam.
I make this prediction on the basis of Islam's past. During the Islamic invasion of North Africa, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Anatolia in the 7th and 8th centuries, there were, no doubt, some Christians in those countries who held that, because Islam and Christianity are 'Abrahamic' religions, Christians and Jews would be treated well under Islam; but hopes of a peaceful co-existence were dashed once Muslims achieved absolute power. The Left today belong in the same category as those Christians. Over time, they'll wake up - they'll have to. It's at that juncture that we on the Far Right can step in and offer our hand in friendship.
The Paris massacre constitutes a turning point, because most of the victims belonged
to the Left and the bourgeoisie - the Left's own class. As a result, the Left has begun to withdraw from Islam, albeit at a glacial pace. One can't see any changes yet. The Left keeps a tight lid on debate, if their websites are anything to go by: you don't see any leftists admitting, 'Perhaps we were wrong to invite Muslims to join our rainbow coalition' - no. They stick to the same line: 'The problem isn't Islam, it's Islamophobia'. Nevertheless, one can hear a few dissenting voices.
We find ourselves far away from the tipping point - what the supply-side economist Jude Wanniski calls the 'margin'. The Left aren't going to distance themselves from Islam any time soon. The question is - given that Islam contradicts their doctrine - why they haven't already done so.
The answer lies in the leftist ideology. All followers of Marx to a man, the leftists believe that the capitalist system is exploitative, brutal, wicked and cruel. To them, it resembles the system we see in the classic movie, The Matrix (1999), in which robots - the former slaves of the humans - keep humanity captive in suspended animation and farm them for battery acid. That movie is an allegory of the Marxist view of capitalism, and leftists do really see themselves as being like the rebel heroes Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. Theirs is a righteous cause which sweeps all before it. They believe that the struggle for 'social justice' is the most important thing in the world and that class - and class war - override all ethnic, national and religious distinctions. They see humans as interchangeable, deindividualised and deracinated economic units. That's why they stand on the side opposite to nationalists, who in their eyes are, like Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), working to maintain a vile, inegalitarian and exploitative system. Racialism, nationalism, opposition to Islam, only serve to deceive the working classes and divert them from the only thing that matters - revolution.
It's here that we need to distinguish between Marxism and Marxist-Leninism. The former tells us that the revolution against the capitalist system is inevitable: the transition to socialism and the 'dictatorship of the proletariat', and then to pure communism and the 'withering away of the state', constitutes a final progression - as final as the transition from the Cretaceous to the Palaeogene. The capitalist system, the bourgeoisie, opponents of socialism and the revolution, will all wind up in the dustbin of history. Marxist-Leninism improves upon Marxism insofar as that it contends that the Russian revolution of 1917, the Chinese revolution of 1949 and other revolutions stand as confirmations of Marx's theory - they serve as proof that unstoppable global Marxist revolution is on the way, first in the Third World, then the First.
But, in the late twentieth century, the Marxist doctrine suffered two blows: the collapse of the USSR and the Eastern bloc in the period 1989-1992, and the backsliding of China into capitalism after 1976. Marxist theory made no provision for those catastrophic events: according to the theory, socialism could no more de-evolve back into capitalism any more than the Palaeogene could revert back to the Cretaceous.
After the collapse of communism, orthodox Marxist-Leninism (that is, pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese Marxist-Leninism) in the West disappeared virtually overnight. But the Left today makes the claim that the events in Europe and the former USSR didn't affect it at all, because, according to the Left, many of the Marxist-Leninist regimes should never have been regarded as Marxist, or even Leninist, in the first place. Even before the collapse of the USSR, Marxist theorists such as Trotsky, Mao and Hoxha put forward the notion that, after some point in time - either after the ascent of Stalin or Khrushchev - the USSR had become 'Stalinist' and had 'degenerated' into a 'bureaucracy', or had turned 'revisionist', 'bourgeois' and 'state capitalist'. We recall how, at the end of Orwell's Animal Farm (1945), the pigs transform into humans - and capitalists. Orwell intended this to be a metaphor for the USSR after the death of Lenin, and Animal Farm, rightly considered, is a Maoist parable.
As I shall explain later, it's necessary to examine the claims of the Trotskyists and the 'anti-revisionists' in detail. If we are to do so, we shall see that they are wrong (in Marxist terms, that is).
The Trotskyist / Maoist / Hoxhaist theory contradicts Marx and Engels, who never said that a socialist state, after a revolution, would suddenly and magically transform (or rather, de-evolve) back into capitalism as though the revolution had never happened: we've already covered that point. A bigger error is that the theory turns Marx on his head. Maoists and Hoxhaists argued that the USSR had devolved into a 'bourgeois' and 'capitalist' state because of the ideas of its leadership. The 'bourgeois' ideas, the 'bourgeois' essence, of the CPSU leadership (and the leadership of sister communist parties) meant that the Soviet economy had become 'state capitalist'. In their view, the 'bourgeois' and 'capitalist' Khrushchevs and Brezhnevs exploited the Soviet workers and extracted surplus value. But in Marxism, categories such as 'bourgeois' and 'capitalist' are applied only in an economic context and pertain only to economic functioning. They don't refer to thoughts, ideas: one can't think oneself into being a bourgeois or a capitalist. Furthermore, ideas themselves only reflect the economic - consciousness springs from being, not the other way around. If the USSR really had turned 'state capitalist' and the CPSU 'bourgeois' in 1956 (after Khrushchev's secret speech denouncing Stalin), something dramatic must have happened to the Soviet economy: perhaps state enterprises were sold off to capitalist oligarchs, or capitalist enterprises were allowed to compete against state ones. But, as we know, nothing remotely like this happened in the USSR before Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
The 'anti-revisionist' theorists like to argue that even nationalisation of 99% of an economy doesn't equal Marxist-Leninism, which is true enough. But the converse is also true. Let's suppose a hypothetical Marxist-Leninist party could take power in some country and refused to abolish property - should such a country be regarded as socialist and Marxist-Leninist because of the Marxist-Leninist thoughts of its leadership? According to the 'anti-revisionist' theory, the answer is yes. But in reality, the Marxist-Leninist character of a state does depend on the extent of nationalisation, and even a bourgeois-ruled capitalist country which has nationalised 99%, or even 80%, of its economy is well and truly on the path towards some form of socialism or another. Likewise, if a country such as China privatises most of the state assets and allows competition, it can't rightly be characterised as Marxist-Leninist.
The conclusion to be drawn is that the 'anti-revisionist' theories don't hold water. Obviously, the Trotskyites, Maoists and Hoxhaists concocted these theories for political purposes - to argue that only their brand of communism deserved to be called Marxist and socialist.
As to why this so relevant to the political situation of the Left today, before 1991, a number of Western Marxists subscribed to the 'anti-revisionist' theories and formed little sects around them, and after the collapse of the USSR, these micro-parties and sects survived and flourished - they make up the bulk of the left-wing formations in 2015. They still hold to 'anti-Stalinist' or 'anti-revisionist' theories and still believe that they, and only they, are truly socialist, i.e., Marxist-Leninist. The Trotskyite or 'anti-revisionist' view is that, circa 1970, the governments of Moscow, Beijing, Havana, Hanoi, Belgrade, Tirana, Prague, Bucharest, Budapest, Berlin, Sofia, Warsaw may have christened themselves Marxist-Leninist, but they weren't really Marxist - they were 'Stalinist' or 'state capitalist' and 'bourgeois'; the parties in those respective countries may have had millions of members who believed that they were Marxist, but this was a delusion. An insignificant sect in the US or UK has more right to call itself Marxist-Leninist than the parties of Ho Chi Minh, Tito, Ceaușescu, Brezhnev.
Their position represents the height of arrogance. But in all fairness, it's the obtuseness of these sects which allowed them to survive the collapse of the USSR - the mainline communist parties didn't. Perhaps one could explain the one-eyedness of the Left as an evolutionary adaptation. That is, just as certain animals developed sharp teeth and claws to aid them in the struggle for existence, Marxists have learned to block out reality so as to survive. They forever pretend it's still 1972 or 1982, when communist regimes existed and the communist idea still had some validity, and that enables them to keep going. If they did yield to the dreadful facts of 1989-1991, they'd cease existing.
So, in 2015, the Left finds itself in the following quandary. It remains addicted to Marxism - it can't let go of the 19th century Marxist political and economic theory. In turn, it can't let go of the 20th century Leninist model, because, after 1917, a political activist can't not be a Marxist and Leninist at the same time. And that means that the Left is caught in a bind. It has lumbered itself with a theory which postulates the 'inevitability' of revolution, socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat - the final (that is, no turning back) evolution from capitalism to socialism. In support of the theory and its apocalyptic predictions, it found confirming instances in Russia, China, Cuba and elsewhere. But then came along the events of 1989-91, which blew Marxist-Leninism out of the water. As a consequence, a radical left-winger today is restricted to two alternatives: either dump Marxist-Leninism or pretend that Maoism, Trotskyism, Hoxhaism and their variants represent 'true' Marxist-Leninism. Most left-wingers - especially those who have spent decades in the movement - would rather die than choose the first, so they opt for the second.
Surveying the leftist terrain today, then, we see that Marxist-Leninists bury their sands in the sand: they don't face up to reality. They don't answer the difficult questions - such as how would Trotsky have run the USSR differently from Stalin, how would Mao have run the USSR or East Germany in a 'non-revisionist' and 'non-bourgeois' way? How would today's Trotskyites, Maoists, Hoxhaists run a North Korea or Cuba any differently... It never occurs to them that perhaps the Stalins, Ho Chi Minhs, Titos, Kim il Sungs and Castros chose their respective paths out of necessity - that, the situation being what it was, there was no other way for a Marxist to proceed.
But they don't want to think along those lines, because that would require staring at their difficulties in the face and then coming to a realisation of the enormity of the task before them. That is, they would be forced to concede that they have their work cut out for them. This is why they tend to hash over the Russian revolution of 1917 over and over - they prefer to dwell on a time when revolution was easy. It's far more enjoyable to contemplate the Russia of the past than the present. That way, they don't have to ask the question, 'How is a second Bolshevik revolution to occur in Russia today?'. That's a question to which they have no answer, and to which, perhaps, there can be no answer. A return to communism in today's Russia seems unlikely, and one might say that if Bolshevism can't stage a comeback in the land of Lenin, it can't do it anywhere. Putin - a champion of state capitalism if there ever was one - may be a Stalin apologist, but Putin's Russia stands a long way away from communism, Bolshevism, Marxism.
The blinkered attitude of the Marxist Left goes some way to explaining why it can't reconcile with the Far Right on any point. The Left dwells permanently in the past. In regard to race relations in the US, the Left thinks that all of the USA is Alabama, 1963. As for immigration, the Left doesn't see what's happening in the West - wholesale demographic replacement - and persists in comparing the present wave of immigration to previous, far smaller ones, say, the immigration of Chinese labourers into California in the 19th century. On the topic of the Holocaust, the Left doesn't acknowledge that little to no hard forensic evidence for the existence of Hitler's WMDs - the gas chambers - has turned up since 1945. Finally, the Left can't reconcile itself to developments in its own history. It's an old joke on the Left that a Trotskyite is someone who doesn't understand that Stalin died sixty years ago; but all Marxist-Leninists, Trotskyite or not, have difficulty in recognising that there was a USSR after Lenin's death in 1924. After Lenin, the saint of Marxism, died, the USSR to them may as well not have existed - nothing of importance went on there. They likewise disregard the regimes of the Eastern bloc. According to them, communism was never tried in East Germany and Romania for forty years; those regimes were 'state capitalist' or 'bureaucratic' or 'Stalinist', not the socialism that Lenin intended, etc., etc.
Because of its isolation from reality and history, the radical Left has degenerated - it has become a sect. Many of its problems are due to the fact that the socialist idea itself hasn't much of a following since 1991: no mass movement stands behind it. Dramatic upsurges appear - in Seattle in 1999, in Wall Street in 2011 - only to then flicker and die. This represents a change from the past, when the masses found socialism to be a fresh and exciting idea. One could say with some justification that 'the workers' and 'the peasants' really may have wanted communism in Russia in 1917 or in China in 1949 (and more fool they). But hardly any of the 'working classes' in those countries today want communism. Unfortunately for the Left, socialism is an idea whose time has come and gone.
Nevertheless, the Left endures, and one must reckon with it as a political force. The question is, how do we persuade them to join us? The difficulties of such a venture are compounded by the fact that the Left regards us on the Far Right as a race of demons. They dehumanise us. In part this reflects their frustration and pique: they know that the masses are on our side, or at least on the side of conservatives, when it comes to race, immigration and Islam. Whatever the reason, they don't want to talk to us - dialogue of any sort is impossible.
But they find dialogue even amongst themselves difficult. The Left admits that it could never put together a message board like Stormfront, a tremendously popular site where all the factions and tendencies of the Far can come together and engage in a civil (well, not always civil) conversation. The closest the Left have come to an all-encompassing forum is RevLeft, which is run by Trotskyites and sees more splits, quarrels and expulsions than probably any other message board in existence - RevLeft is a Trotskyite party in miniature. Administrative heavy-handedness, and an unwillingness to let any differences of opinion pass, mean that discussion is shut down before it begins.
On that topic, it is significant that many of the Far Left parties don't allow comments on their posts. Such a policy in this day and age - when websites have usurped newspapers - prevents any debate from getting off the ground. Today, participants in left-wing politics are treated as computers which need to be programmed with the 'right' Marxist-Leninist thinking; their role is a passive one. Which explains why so many left-wing sites seem dead.
But while many obstacles exist, there are still plenty of avenues from which to approach leftists for a discussion. As a word of warning (before one enters the strange world of the Left), one must remember that, when dealing with the Left, one can't pick and choose when it comes to the elements of the leftist ideology: leftism is a package deal. In theory, one could be a Marxist and a Holocaust denier at the same time; in practice, it doesn't work out that way. If one buys into leftism, one gets, not only socialism, but anti-racism, feminism, homosexualism and the rest. So a nationalist is not going to feel comfortable talking left-wing people.
(As part of the package deal, a leftist today must take up a hyper-leftism or anarchism on the question of US race relations. Soviet communism had long exploited the negro question in the US as a means of promoting discord and with the intent of recruiting disaffected Afro-Americans into the communist party; we now know the extent of the communist involvement in the civil rights struggle. But events have moved on since those days. Reality has not only caught up with the Soviet communist position on race, it has surpassed it. That is to say, politicians, the churches, the media, academia, entertainment and all the other institutions today stand far, far to the left of the communists at the time of Martin Luther King. The radical Left, then, finds itself made redundant in today's America, which is why it pushes a hyper-leftism. To judge by the Left's propaganda, the Left today demand a) the banning of all US police officers from carrying guns (so as to prevent shootings of Afro-Americans) and b) the release of all Afro-American offenders from jail. To the Left, this would be 'social justice'. But here Marxism has been transmuted into anarchism, and on the topic of race, as on many others, many on the Left have gone crazy).
As to what rhetorical techniques to use, Dr Bill Warner has written an excellent little book, Can We Talk? A Manual of Persuasion about Islam (2010), in which he outlines some strategies for bringing over others (especially progressive, liberal-minded people) to anti-Islam. If a nationalist manages to have a dialogue with a leftist on Islam, Dr Warner's recommendations should be followed. The problem is, however, getting a foot in the door and engaging in a conversation on Islam in the first place. The way to do that is to get the leftists to realise that, like it or not, Islam works against their interests. One simply has to hammer home the point, over and over that while leftism and Marxism believe in progress, Islam does not - that Islam is literally reactionary, perhaps the most reactionary ideology of all. Islam can't be reconciled with Marxist-Leninism. In that regard, an instruction in the finer points of Sharia - especially Sharia in relation to khaffirs - will prove to be revelatory.
In conclusion, then, I'm fairly certain that, if the Far Right and Far Left in any Western countries were to sit down together and engage in a dialogue - with a view to reaching some sort of political agreement - they would find (surprisingly enough) that they tally on a good many points. Over time the Far Left would grow to appreciate the nationalists' arguments. It seems that many on the Left may be halfway over to our side already. According to the pro-Israel agitators and publicists on the conservative Right, the Left has been infected with anti-Semitism. We on the Far Right are anti-Semitic and have been so for many, many years. So, if the characterisation of the Left as 'anti-Semitic' is correct, the Left is only now beginning to catch up with us. Our job then is to persuade the Left to go the whole hog and embrace anti-Islam as well as anti-Semitism; then they'll come around to our side almost entirely.
Given the commonalities that exist between the Far Left and Right, why is it that they haven't they engaged with us already? The reason is twofold. They have become, since 1991, pathologically quarrelsome, disputatious and sectarian; they can't even reach an understanding amongst themselves, let alone with the evil white supremacists and neo-Nazis, whom they abhor above all. As well as that, they have become cocky and arrogant - and why not, because, in many ways, they are winning - and don't feel the need to negotiate with the Far Right, or, for that matter, any other grouping on the political spectrum. They think that their rainbow coalition of Muslims, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, illegal immigrants, indigenous peoples and environmentalists is sufficient enough to catapult them to political power.
But the fault doesn't lie with them entirely: part of it lies with us. Like the Left, we've forgotten much of our own history. Something we nowadays fail to take note of is the fact that many NSDAP writings were devoted to the problem of how to win over the Left. Today's depiction of National Socialist Germany emphasises only the repressive and coercive measures used to subdue the Left - street brawls with communists, the internment of communists in concentration camps; it neglects the political and intellectual propagandising which was designed to entice the workers and intellectuals away from the communists. In Mein Kampf, we read how Marxist workers will attend a beer hall speech by Hitler with the intention of breaking it up, and coming away, if not wholly converted to National Socialism, at least more thoughtful. Such is the power of persuasion. I think that the Far Right today doesn't believe in itself, or at least, doesn't believe that it has the ability (of a Hitler or a Mussolini) to alter the opinions of its political opponents through oratory. Instead, it has withdrawn into its shell. It's become convinced, or half-convinced, that its views are untenable and ugly - that the entire world is against it and will never, never change its mind.