Sunday, February 19, 2017

The lowdown on why we need the lumpenproletariat-nationalist

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 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 not 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.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

On Putin and the Yankee Colorado Beetles

Trump a Russian agent in the White House? Not so fast, say this week's headlines:

All in all, not a good week for the Putinistas, who put Trump on the same plane as Little Vladimir Putin and want Trump to follow a pro-Russian policy (which means recognising Putin's annexation of Crimea; supporting Putin's war crimes in Syria; and looking the other way at Putin's depredations in the eastern Ukrainian Donets region, which he wants to annex to Russia).

But Putinism leads - always - to a denial of reality. They almost consider Trump's America and Putin's Russia to be the one and same political organism (to use Yockey's term); but so long as the US and Russia exist as individual political units, they will always be opposed to one another and (potentially) range against each other as enemies. Trump's America won't, any time soon, forgo its sovereignty, dissolve itself and become absorbed into Putin's Russia; in other words, it won't become a Belarus or a pre-2014 Ukraine.

We find Putinistas everywhere on the Far Left and the Far Right. Yockey writes at length on the subject of Culture Distortion, what happens when one Culture's politics fall under the sway and distorted by the representatives of another. America belongs to the white, Western and European Culture; the Jews, to the Arabic, Islamic and Semitic. America's policy, after the election of Roosevelt in 1932, became distorted by America's large Jewish population which controlled American media, finance, publishing, entertainment, etc., at the time and still does to this day. Yockey regarded this as the classic example of Culture Distortion. Since 2014, a similar process is taking place on the Far Right - and Left - with Russians substituting for the Jews. Yockey would see this analogy as being not quite correct, as Russia shouldn't be considered as one of the seven High Cultures (the Western, the Arabic / Semitic, the Babylonian, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Indian, the Mayan / Aztec); it stands outside the Western Culture, and all the Cultures, and henceforth should be seen as 'Barbarian'. But still, in essence we see another instance of Culture Distortion because the Western Far Right has been turned by foreigners away from its natural aim and is waging war against its own self. This is because of Putin's revival of hysterical, Soviet anti-American Cold War propaganda, his dusting-off of 'American Colorado Beetle'-style propaganda, which has had an outsized effect on the credulous minds of those who didn't live through the Cold War and thus are more susceptible and less experienced when it comes to Russian and communist tricks.

If you click on the link to the 'Stop Yankee Beetles: Crimes against Humanity' article, you'll notice the constant allusions to America's attempts to foment war and Russia's to bring about international peace. Putin's Russia has been at war since 2011, in Syria and the Ukraine, but he has successfully persuaded the Putinistas of the Left and Right that he is a man of peace, and that it is the wicked Americans - Obama, the neoconservatives, the liberal interventionist hawks - who want war and are the ones who started the war in Syria. Putin follows the old communist formula: practice militarism at home, preach pacifism abroad; interventionism for Russians, isolationism for Americans.

The best strategy for nationalists who wish to resist Putin is to follow Yockey's example and emphasise repeatedly the Asian-ness and foreign-ness of Russia, and point out the commonalities that exist between Putin and other members of the global elite (such as Hilary Clinton). Also, one should beat down any 'Whatabout-ism' - that is, the rhetorical line which Putinistas adopt when challenged, 'What about America's crimes?'. One must retain focus and stay on track: we are not discussing America, but Putin and the Putin Khanate.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Advice for budding American neofascists

We've seen, since the presidential election, a flow of political power from the Democrats and the Far Left to the Republicans and the Far Right. One could call it a displacement of power. The Far Left, at the moment, is resisting this process, as are Trump's opponents on the Right - the 'Never Trump' Republicans - but little can be done about it. Temporary stays in the lower courts on Trump's executive orders, left-wing riots, protests bordering on riots at Republican town hall meetings - none of this alters the fact that it is Trump, and not the radicals of the Democratic Party, who is the one wielding the power. Sovereignty has passed from the hands of the Left to those of the Right. In the chapter 'The Law of Constancy of Intra-Organismic Power' in Imperium, Yockey explains how

In any organism, for it is an existential law of every organism that: The power within an organism is constant, and if individuals, groups, or ideas within the organism are diminished in power, some other individuals, groups, or ideas are increased in power by that amount.

When this law is in abeyance, the political organism will shrivel up and die. It will cease to exist as an independent political unit, and become a vassal of other powers - as what happened to certain Latin American countries in the first half of the twentieth century:

This Law of Constancy of Intra-Organismic Power is existential, for if a diminution of
power in one place within does not pass elsewhere within the organism, the organism is sickened, weaker, and may have lost its political existence as an independent unit. The history of South America from 1900 to 1950 is rich in examples of triumphant revolutions against regimes that stripped them of power— which then moved to the United States of North America, and as long as that condition continued, the country in which such a revolution had occurred was a colony of Yanqui imperialismo.

So the fact that power has been displaced from the Far Left to Trump shows that the political organism of America - or rather, the US / UK / Israel axis - finds itself in good condition and ruddy health.

The question is, how do we - and by 'we', I mean we 'Neo-Nazis' and 'White Supremacists' - benefit? It's true that the Trump administration will provide those of us in America with protective cover. But Trump's unforeseen success has presented us with a number of quandaries.

Historically, we are tasked with a dual mission: to undermine the existing liberal constitutional order, wherever it can be found, and to insert our leaders into the breach and assume total power. The Far Left operates in a similar way, and just like the Far Left, we take recourse to extra-parliamentary methods because we can't win by following the rules. No 'American Nazi Party', no 'White People's Party of America', will ever win an election, and neither will any 'American Worker's Revolutionary Party'. Most of the Far Left understands this, which is why it has spent so much time - decades, in fact - infiltrating the Democratic Party. Its efforts bore fruit when Obama, a covert, soft Marxist, was elected and set about his program of bringing 'fundamental change' to America.

But the Obama administration, 2009-2016, ended up splitting the Far Left, which devolved into two factions: one, a 'Menshevik' faction which supported Obama, another, a 'Bolshevik' faction which opposed him. The Mensheviks took a pragmatic approach and counselled patience to the Left; the Bolsheviks demanded more and chastised Obama for not going far enough... (We saw evidence of this split in the 2016 Democratic primaries: Clinton ran as a Menshevik, Sanders as a Bolshevik).
This recent history raises the disturbing possibility that we on the Far Right in 2017 will end up following in the footsteps of the Far Left in 2009: some of us will take the Menshevik position, others the Bolshevik. And I can say already that the Mensheviks shall outnumber the Bolsheviks. Many of us will be loath to criticise Trump and few will have the gumption to challenge him and the Republican Party for power.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that we, historically, have always attacked the Left more than the Right - and gained more benefits from doing so - but this time around, the American Right has, on the surface of it, triumphed over the Left, and triumphed nearly everywhere at the state and federal level. Our traditional constituency - the white working class - has left the Democrats and gone over to Trump; they are willing to follow the rules, just as Trump did, and to abide by the existing constitutional order (so much for the Marxist theory of the working class as agents of revolutionary change). They won't be coming over to our side - the Alt Right, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, KKK, skinhead side - any time soon. But were we to upbraid them for their pusillanimity, we would be making the same mistake as the Left, which, through its hectoring and haranguing of the white working class, drove that class into the arms of the Right.

The result of all this is that at first sight, Trump's victory has pulled the rug from under us: for a hundred years, we on the Far Right have made allegations of a far-reaching communist conspiracy (which threatens the foundations of our republics) a staple of our propaganda; but, in America at least, communism has been vanquished with the recent elections - or has it? The Far Left has been launching several probing attacks - the recent riots in New York and California number among them - to test the limits of Trump's authority. We see quite a few pockets of resistance to Trump - in the judiciary of the appellate courts, in the 'blue' states of New York, Washington, California... It remains an open question as to whether those cracks will widen and become fissures - will the resistance in those states become 'political', in Yockey and Schmitt's understanding of the word? Sooner or later, Trump will need to exert his authority over the resisting elements of the Left - the Antifa rioters, the liberal judges, the blue state governors, the leftist activist mobs at the Republican town hall meetings... Otherwise, a civil war could break out.

But, for our purposes, it would be far better for the American Far Right to concentrate for the time being on the difficult sectors - the 'blue' state, liberal-Marxist strongholds such as New York and California. For instance, the Far Right could make the compelling argument that California's woes (such as immigration) are caused by the existing constitutional order in that state, an order which needs to be destroyed and replaced... A white nationalist governor should be installed and the Californian state legislature should be abolished. Or perhaps the legislature could remain but only one party - a Far Right and nationalist party - should be allowed to run in elections. (California is a one party state now anyway, and my proposed alteration will only formalise the existing arrangement). Now, these posited goals may not be achieved, but an open statement of them will serve to distinguish the white nationalist / Neo-Nazi party from the Republican Party, and the American Far Right will have taken its first step towards fascism. The battle for California would be underway, and fascism thrives on battles.

Recent events have, paradoxically enough, given Americans on the Right a renewed appreciation of fascism. To explain. Fascism didn't come about simply because a bunch of right-wing Europeans wanted to organise themselves in a military fashion and wear smart uniforms: it came about as a response to left-wing violence. The first paramilitaries were formed as bodyguards and march stewards, that is, to protect the party leadership, and the rank and file, from the Left. The uniforms, the military discipline and organisation, the martial spirit, the camaraderie, the willingness to risk life and limb, all followed as a matter of course. Ever since the assault on Richard Spencer and the riot at Berkeley, the American Far Right - even the 'yellowfashie' Far Right represented by Greg Johnson - has come to recognise this; they now understand, perhaps for the first time, why the fascists did what they did.

Events have given the American Far Right the opportunity to smuggle in fascism by the back door. 'Fashie'-looking leaders such as Richard Spencer and Nathan Damigo - both of whom are accused of being Neo-Nazi anyway - could be assigned a uniformed bodyguard skilled in self-defence and street-fighting tactics.

The essential thing is that the American Far Right must not simply revive the uniforms and symbols of the past, as George Lincoln Rockwell did and Gary Raikes (of the New British Union) is doing. Even the use of the words 'fascist' and 'Nazi' and 'National Socialist' should be discouraged because they are redolent of the past.

This isn't to say that the ideology of Hitler, Mussolini, Evola, Yockey, should be repudiated. No, the main thing is that we need to change the emphasis from how the fascists looked to what they did. And we can duplicate what they did quite easily.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Is it socialism? Socialism and the Civics, Patriots and the Pie and Mash Squad

A nationalist comrade sent me the following - from a Facebook thread - recently and asked if the below account of NSDAP social and economic policies was 'true':

Multi-national industries in occupied territory were particularly targeted for state ownership

* Large public works programs supported by deficit spending

* Disbanding of all private welfare institutions, in an effort to socially engineer society by selecting who was to receive social benefits

* The National Socialists provided a plethora of social welfare programs under Nazi’s concept of Volksgemeinschaft which promoted the collectivity of a “people’s community” where citizens would sacrifice themselves for the greater good. The NSV operated “8,000 day-nurseries” by 1939, and funded holiday homes for mothers, distributed additional food for large families, and was involved with a “wide variety of other facilities.”

* During the 12 years of the Third Reich, government ownership expanded greatly into formerly private sectors of strategic industries: aviation, synthetic oil and rubber, aluminium, chemicals, iron and steel, and army equipment. The capital assets of state-owned industry doubled during this same period, whereby the nationalization caused state-ownership of companies to increase to over 500 businesses.

* By the late 1930s, taxation, regulations and general hostility towards the business community were becoming so onerous that one German businessman wrote: "These Nazi radicals think of nothing except ‘distributing the wealth,'

A particularly interesting one for you history deniers:

* The Nazi social welfare provisions included old age insurance, rent supplements, unemployment and disability benefits, old-age homes, interest-free loans for married couples, along with healthcare insurance, which was not decreed mandatory until 1941.

Yes, I can say that all the above was true.

I came across my first account of German Nationalist policies in a beginner's textbook on Keynes, which described how Sweden and National Socialist Germany flourished throughout the Great Depression because of (what the author believed) was Keynesian policy.

At the time I read the book - the mid-1990s - rural and regional Australia was afflicted with great unemployment as a holdover from the recession of the early 1990s, a slump which was compared by many to that of the 1930s. So the German National Socialist and Swedish Social Democrat fiscal and monetary remedies proved to be attractive to me. (But I wasn't a fascist sympathiser at the time: I still believed in the Holocaust, and found Hitler, National Socialism and fascism abhorrent).

Another friend has added, to the above Facebook exchange:

The fact the Nationalist Socialist Germany is considered economically Left by many today, shows how far to the economic right we are.

Ive heard these before, they are more or less true (with important caveats, that being the intent of government ownership). This was the way the world was then. Before neo-liberalism and deregulated lassez-faire capitalism, these kind of policies were normal. Look at Post WWII tax rates in America. Positively wealth redistibutionary.

On the subject of high taxes: the Great Depression was caused by tax and tariff increases. It all started in the US:  Herbert Hoover imposed the 60% Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1929-1930 and then raised the top rate of income tax from 25% to 63% in 1932, and countries all across the world - including the UK, Australia, Japan and Germany - responded with their own Hoover-style super-tax and tariff hikes. The US recession went global as a result.

On coming into office, Hitler didn't cut income taxes, but he did, according to supply-side doyen Jude Wanniski, exempt shares in the top German companies from capital gains tax; he also cut taxes for companies that reinvested their profits. On the trade front, he negotiated trade agreements - or barter agreements, rather - with thirty countries, which circumvented the huge Smoot-Hawley tariff blocking off international trade. (His autarchy policies, which encouraged self-sufficiency, were intended to be another way of getting around Smoot-Hawley).

The West - and Japan - recovered after the war because of cuts to the enormously high Depression and wartime tax rates. Those post-war rates do look high to us today - the top rate of income tax in the US, even by 1980, was 70% for anyone making over $USD100,000 - but because of generous loopholes, rebates and deductions, hardly anyone paid them. In addition, by 1950, the gold standard and fixed exchange rates had been reintroduced. As for the tariff walls of the 1930s, these were knocked down after a series of free trade agreements, including the much-aligned GATT.

But I digress; I'm leading into a discussion of supply-side economics, when what I want to write about here is Hitler's socialism. The above Facebook quotation raises the question: what leads us to characterise certain politicians as socialist, even Marxist? Is it their social policies - like those of Hitler's, listed above - or is it something deeper... I believe the latter. What makes a politician socialist, even Marxist is his championing the cause of a particular class - the working class. For this reason, I view Trump as the most socialist - even Marxist - American president in the last hundred or so years. He has donned the mantle of saviour and protector of the (white) American working class, and so should rightly be considered socialist even if he doesn't see himself that way. The fact that Trump does not endorse Marxist-Leninism, and most likely never has read a word of Marx or any other socialist intellectual, doesn't matter; what does is that he has managed to present himself to the American workers as their representative.

In contrast, Sanders - who campaigned as a self-conscious socialist, that is, a socialist who recognised himself as such - did not succeed in winning the votes of the blue-collars in the Democrat primaries; he only managed to attract the middle-classes - the white collars - and the bohemians. That seems paradoxical, to be sure, but modern politics is filled with paradoxes.

Sometimes what a politician says matters more than what he does. Lenin claimed to be 'for' the working classes and the peasantry and yet starved them to the death and executed them in the millions; but we should still - in my opinion - see Lenin as a genuine Marxist and socialist and class warrior... By that criteria, Hitler, too, should be regarded as a genuine socialist - and even Marxist - regardless of whether his policies were, objectively viewed, 'for' or 'against' the working class and their interests (and in the end, who is it that judges, we may ask).

Fascism finds its political center in the working classes, just as Trumpism does (but this is not to say that both fascism and Trumpism are the same thing). Back in the 2000s, when the English Defence League first appeared, it succeeded in enrolling many British working class men; its base was located in the British working class. It was this element, in combination with others, that gave the EDL its 'fascist' character. The EDL leadership may have protested that the EDL was a multi-culti, philo-Semitic, 'pro-Israel' organisation, but this rhetoric hardly fooled anyone. The resemblances between it and earlier, overtly fascist formations - such as Mosley's BUF - were blindingly obvious to students of history. The doctrinal purists of the Far Right who opposed the EDL pointed, like the EDL leadership, to the 'Zionism' of the EDL and its multi-cultism, and they raised suspicions that the EDL may have been formed by agents of the British 'secret state', but all this ignored the implicit whiteness of the EDL and the implicit fascism.

In fascism, practice precedes theory, and part of that practice is the cultivation of a working-class base - doctrinal purity comes later. And so does any other form of purity. We must acknowledge that many of the followers of the EDL, and the Neo-Nazi 'skin' movements, came from the ranks of the lumpenproletariat, not the proletariat (but a fine line exists between the two). How much more beneficial, for the Far Right, it would be if these uncouth types could be discouraged from entering the movement and more clean-cut and well-presented types (like those overall-wearing, cloth-cap wearing proletarians in Soviet iconography) could be persuaded to join. But alas, in politics, things don't work out that way. You can't pick and choose; nor can you isolate and segregate certain factions of the Far Right from the other. Nor can you say that you only want 'good' working class people to join. (For the past thirty or so years, the Far Left has been keeping out of its ranks what it regards as the 'bad' members of the working class; as a result, it has gutted whatever working class membership it had and turned itself into a bourgeois, non-working class and non-socialist (in the true sense of the word) movement).

The EDL seems to have waned, but several anti-Islamist offshoots - such as the North West Infidels and the South West Alliance linger, and so do the Australian equivalents: the UPF, Reclaim Australia, True Blue Crew... This so-called Australian 'patriot' movement does boast a sizeable working class following, and could be said to be quasi-fascistic in some respects. Like the EDL, it has been corrupted by Zionism and civic nationalism, but, on the other hand, it does show fascist potential - more so than the political parties with which it is aligned (Rise Up! and Australian Liberty Alliance). In other words, they stand close to the socialism of the NSDAP variety, about as close as the skinhead formations. Ideological proximity to the tenets of the NSDAP doesn't equal identity, of course, but the skins and the patriots are the closest we'll get - for the time being - to an Australian neo-fascism.

The interesting thing about the UK scene is that the civic nationalist and the overtly fascist groups are prepared to work together: see an account of a 2016 Liverpool demonstration here, which saw the civic-nationalist, 'hooligan' outfits NW Infidels, SW Alliance and the Pie and Mash Squad standing alongside the (now banned) National Action, which was a self-proclaimed 'national socialist' group. I take this as evidence that the gap dividing the two tendencies in Britain has been bridged. Likewise, that gap could be surmounted here in Australia.

Assad's Day of the Rope

As most readers know, Amnesty International issued a report which claimed that Assad has hanged 13,000 Syrians at a Damascus jail since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

The Amnesty report said an average of 20-50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years after a popular uprising descended into civil war, it said.

"The victims are overwhelmingly civilians who are thought to oppose the government," the report said.

"Many other detainees at Sednaya Military Prison have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care."

There seems to be some substantial evidence for it:

The executions were carried out secretly and those killed were buried in mass graves outside the capital, with families not informed of their fate, it said.

The report was based on interviews with 84 witnesses including former guards and officials, detainees, judges and lawyers, as well as experts.

It followed a report issued a year ago by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, whose war crimes investigators said they had documented a high number of deaths in Sednaya military prison.

"Amnesty's findings are almost completely in-line with our 'Death in Detention' paper," Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. panel, told Reuters.

"We mentioned the executions in Sednaya and have extensive details on the systematic details of the regular ceremonies they have to conduct hangings in front of an audience of public officials. It is one of the clearest instances of a systematic practice that we had and based some of the key findings upon."

Assad has become a practioner of Nuremberg-style trials - and executions:

The prisoners, who included former military personnel suspected of disloyalty and people involved in unrest, underwent sham trials before military courts and were sometimes forced to make confessions under torture, Amnesty said.

The executions were carried out secretly and those killed were buried in mass graves outside the capital, with families not informed of their fate, it said.

As Holocaust deniers, we should be prima facie wary of atrocity stories. But the problem with the Holocaust tales is that they nearly always contain an element of absurdity which undermines them. See, for instance, the massacre at the ravine in Babi Yar, when 80,000 Jews were massacred by firing squads and mobile gas chambers: the Germans disposed of all the bodies - every single one - on bonfires or in mobile bone-crushing machines. That seems scarcely credible to me. But the Amnesty report on Assad's mass executions seems perfectly credible: it may be false, for all I know, but it seems common-sensical, unlike the story of the Babi Yar massacre, and what's more, one can verify its claims through forensics. The Assad regime, if it wanted to disprove the report, could easily open its Sedanya jail - and the mass graves nearby - to inspection.

Assad has become the worst mass murderer the Arab world has ever seen - at least in recent times. Yet many on the Far Left and Right support him. Some of them, no doubt, would justify the killings - they are what I call the 'tough nuts'. Their stock response will be: those people deserved to die, they were 'Terrorists', 'Zionists', 'Muslims', 'Islamists', [insert x here]... But if Israel had hanged 13,000 Palestinian 'terrorists', the Americans 13,000 Iraquis or Afghanis: you would hear a terrible outcry from the same tough nuts; Arab and Muslim life suddenly becomes sacrosanct. The strange thing is that the tough nuts abominate ISIS for killing and torturing so many Arabs and Muslims; but the evidence will show - after this war is over - that Assad has killed and tortured many, many more Arabs and Muslims than ISIS and is worse than ISIS in that regard.

Those on the Far Right who have invested in Assad, and invested heavily, have made a terrible mistake. To support the worst Arab mass murderer of perhaps all time has proven to be, to put it euphemistically, 'bad optics'. The Assadists will find themselves in the same position as those communist groups which, in the late seventies, supported Pol Pot and the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea: the crimes of their hero will return to haunt them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Wave of the Future

Vice has published an article on the 'Fashwave' music phenomenon, which is essential reading for anyone to understand the Alt-Right. It illustrates why the Far Right today is winning the battle against the Far Left. The Alt-Right has put old wine in new bottles; it has given the old white nationalism and neofascism a makeover, and applied a new coat of paint which comes in bright and shiny, and pastel, colours. In contrast, the Left, in its imagery, appears rather dour and drab; the Antifa, for instance, dress like medieval penitents...

Many conservatives believe that the decade of the 1960s constitutes the point from which we can chart the decline of Western civilisation. The New Left emerged in that decade and took the Western world by storm: how? The answer is that they - using Herbert Marcuse, Wilhelm Reich and others as a theoretical justification - promulgated a doctrine of self-indulgence (under the guise of self-actualisation and spiritual liberation) and quite cleverly latched on to the popular culture trends of the time. They made Leftism fun and equated having fun with making rebellion. We all know how it turned out, of course, but it can't be denied that the New Left succeeded in its object.

One can find fault with the Alt-Right - it has now become suborned to Trump and the Trump Republican Party - but we should regard its reinvention of Far Right aesthetics as one of its successes. The fact of the matter is that the old white nationalism and Neo-Nazism of the 1990s and 2000s - of William Pierce and Tom Metzger, of skinheads and goths - couldn't abide; on an aesthetic level alone, it had become as gloomy and dour as the Left it fought against. Nationalists began wearing too much black, in imitation - conscious or unconscious - of the Antifa; google Thor Steinar or Doberman's Aggressive and you'll see what I mean... The rather myopic skinhead and black metal scene - two genres of music hardly renowned for their colour and light - played a part in all this. But, by the 2010s, the popular culture and people's appetites changed; synthwave and vaporwave, and eighties nostalgia, took off. Full credit must go to the Alt-Right for recognising this. Just as the New Left had done in the sixties, the Alt Right in the 2010s has seen the potential in the new music and fashions, and exploited them to the hilt.

Having said that: the Old Left survived the sixties and the seventies, the New Left didn't. The old Trotskyite, Stalinist and Maoist formations weathered the fall of the Soviet Union - and the restoration of capitalism in China - and continue to exist, and flourish (to a certain extent) today, whereas the New Left had went the way of all ideological fads by 1980. This should be a warning for us - to not be hasty, jump on the Alt Right bandwagon and put all our eggs in the one basket. The tried and true doctrine and organisation of the Old Left gave it an edge that the New Left lacked. Likewise, I suspect that the 'Old' Right will prove its worth and be around long after this Alt Right trend has faded.