Showing posts with label fascism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fascism. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's Like Angela Nagle Read Settlers and Sided with the White People

Angela Nagle pulls at our collective memory of decommunization by invoking Reagan's Berlin Wall speech in the lede of her latest for American Affairs Journal. In keeping with her steady slide into Strasserism, we find her parroting some of Tom Metzger's favorite talking points by positing unchecked immigration as inherently anti-working class (and the reverse position as the True Left).

Monday, November 19, 2018

Does Neo-Nazi Gang Sting Violate Freedom of Speech? [SATIRE]

Chastity McBride said she was just trying to make a point about the natural human drive for dominance. “By selling crystal meth for a white nationalist gang, I was demonstrating the hypocrisy of our national drug laws,” said McBride while filing a toothbrush into a shank to represent the death of innocence.

McBride was one of almost forty neo-Nazis affiliated with the Unforgiven and Aryan Brotherhood gangs swept up in a sting operation on Thursday. But the defendants and advocacy groups argue the arrests were a violation of their civil rights.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Tucker Carlson Is the Paragon of Crocodile Tears

A few weeks ago, my friend, who is actually in Smash Racism DC (I haven't been art of the organization for three years) send me a pastebin doxx of Tucker Carlson and a few other far right personalities, so I probably should have seen this coming. SRDC has really been on fire with the doxxes as of late. Anyway, last night my SRDC comrades engaged in what's known as 'grassroots lobbying' - showing up at a powerful person's doorstep, usually at night, and generally making as much noise as possible.

Now Tucker Carlson is crying. He is afraid for his family even! From USA Today:

“Here’s the problem, I have four children,” he told Fox. “I never thought twice about leaving them home alone, but this is the reaction because this group doesn’t like my TV show.

Now we're supposed to feel bad for Tucker Carlson's family. This same Tucker Carlson who literally advocated the separation of thousands of families at the US border. We're supposed to fear for his children. This is the same Tucker Carlson whose Daily Caller published white nationalist Scott Greer's callous rebuke of justice for black children slain by the police. Go ahead read it.

The fact is, Tucker has used his platform to strike fear into millions of people every night from the comfort of his own studio. His eliminationist politics of racial purity influences policy to bring ICE agents to the doorsteps of thousands. He influences policy to ensure that pigs who shoot children are let off the hook. Tucker can cry all he wants, this is just chickens coming home to roost.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Nazis Poisoning the Well: Digital Blackface

My friend had a rather unpleasant encounter on Twitter with what she assumed to be a Hotep. His avatar was that of the face of a Black man. His display name (Sofa King Woke), though campy, seemed a plausible play on words for such a person. She said the account attacked her for tweeting about the ACLU Election Protection Program with something about "illegal aliens." First clue: Nazis almost never stay on message. Next was the user's @: @MumiaDouche. An obvious swipe at Mumia Abu Jamal and his supporters.

Nazis really can't help but give themselves away. In fact, I think it's part of the game, to make it in some way obvious that their ruse is a hoax. This gives them the ability to claim humor, a prank.

Friday, November 2, 2018

It's Happened

So we've finally done it. We've broken the fourth wall of US politics. Touched the third rail. Antisemitism is back and it looks like 11 dead congregants at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It looks like defaced temples and vandalized grave stones.

I'm at a loss.

Friday, October 26, 2018

How Mussolini Sealed His Regime

August 12, 1924. An Italian railway worker finds a clue to a prominent socialist minister of parliament’s murder. Giacomo Matteotti, the stirring voice of opposition to Mussolini’s Fascism, is exhumed from a hastily prepared shallow grave. In late summer, the gains the National Fascist Party had made over two years seemed ready to unravel.

As the party gained power, it sought also to separate itself officially from the black-shirted squadristi who roamed in trucks assaulting and murdering various designated undesirables. In an age of ascending eugenics, the social purpose of the blackshirts was variously regarded if not their methods. Fascist power was materially realized through the appointment of Mussolini to the Prime Ministership in 1922 and in April of 1924 through control of the legislature.

For four months from August 1924 to January 1925, Mussolini was in the hot seat. On the one hand, the blackshirts wanted an orgy of violence to cleanse Italy of their designated undesirables. On the other, the opposition, now a minority within the state apparatus because of the Acerbo law, wanted an end to the lawlessness of the blackshirts.

Mussolini sought to appease both sides. On January 3rd 1925, Mussolini delivered a speech to parliament taking responsibility for the blackshirt violence. In promising to resolve it, Mussolini embarked upon a campaign of restricting basic democratic freedoms, and by 1929, liquidating electoral representation altogether.

Government was replaced with the party apparatus which was unified under the capricious vision of Il Duce. Mussolini’s successful maneuvering allowed him to unify a party whose fractures became apparent in the Matteotti crisis. It also allowed him to complete his fascist revolution through reform and repeal of existing law. Elections were replaced with referenda on the party’s leader who won them handsomely with well over 90% of the vote.

In the end, the investigation into the murder of Matteotti and other actions of the blackshirts didn’t matter. Mussolini became the law in order to absolve himself of his transgression of it. When Trump finally accepts responsibility for the escalating violence committed in his name, let's not give him the same opportunity.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Griffin and Paxton: The Best We Can Do?

The 2016 US presidential election brought into sharp relief the state of fascist studies in the early 21st century. Coming to the fore were British scholars Roger Griffin and Robert O. Paxton. The former's 1991 The Nature of Fascism sets forth a definition of fascism based on ideology. The latter's 2004 The Anatomy of Fascism seeks to jettison ideology, which fascists lie about anyway, and opts for an approach highlighting the actions of fascist movements. Thus, Griffin was able to diagnose Trump as a fascist while Paxton was not. I find both of these definitions of fascism wanting for their own reasons, and I see emerging a new direction built upon their work.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Best Friends for Fascism

Journalist Elizabeth King published a piece in Truthout which very much resembles a piece I wrote for Jewish Currents last year. In it, she makes the case, as I did, that befriending fascists just allows them to have friends in spite of their fascism. Unlike my article, she points to some failed attempts at befriending nazis:

Writer Quinn Norton was briefly hired then let go from a position with The New York Times this year after tweets came to light in which she spoke favorably of a now-notorious American neo-Nazi called “weev” (whose real name is Andrew Auernheimer). Norton had referred to Auernheimer as her “friend.” Auernheimer, who co-runs the Daily Stormer, a website that is massively popular with neo-Nazis, appears on white nationalist podcasts and incessantly calls for genocide against non-white people.

Despite all this, Norton found it appropriate to maintain a friendship with Auernheimer. “I have been friends with various neo-nazis in my time, yes” Norton tweeted when asked about her relationship with Auernheimer in 2014. “I have never agreed with them, and I’ve been clear on that.”

This latter statement in particular exemplifies a sort of “holier-than-thou” position that fascist-adjacent people sometimes deploy in order to skirt accountability for their relationships. In attempting to show that she, a good person, can be friends with a Nazi and still be good herself, Norton is also attempting to show that she is above the peskiness of partisan biases: the ultimate tolerant liberal.

However, other tweets where Norton used the n-word also recirculated amid the public outcry that accompanied her hiring at the Times, as did a 2013 Medium post where she called Nazi leader John Rabe her “personal patron saint of moral complexity.” Rabe was a leading figure in Nazi Germany, and also helped thousands of Chinese people avoid being killed during the Holocaust. That is, there are at least two Nazis about which Quinn has kind things to say. Still, Norton also claimed on Twitter in February amid all this backlash that on the rare occasions she still speaks to Auernheimer, she brings up “the racism” and attempts to address it with him.

Even if Auernheimer were open to leaving the Nazi movement, and even if Norton were herself a staunch anti-racist, it’s not only a matter of disagreeing “with the racism” when it comes to helping fascists change their ways. Indeed, if Norton had hoped to somehow neutralize Auernheimer’s hate or make the world safer via a friendship with Auernheimer, she failed spectacularly. Auernheimer is still a prominent player in the fascist scene and shows no sign of giving up on the movement any time soon.

This is in no small part because it’s actually quite difficult to deradicalize a neo-Nazi, and the process has to start with a genuine desire or need to change on the part of the fascist.
Feels vindicating.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Supermen: Fascism and Vigilantism

Been thinking a bit about this snippet of an article I wrote for Public Seminar last summer:

What we see then in the use of “violence” is really a distinction between who gets to lay a claim to legitimate public coercion. The police are expected to use extraordinary measures to prevent any social disruption — from physical altercations to feeding the homeless in a public park. Doing so as a lay citizen, even through the consent of a larger community body, is seen as an ex ante violation of a higher natural law (even if not a violation of the actual law) of the distribution of legitimate physical coercion.

Transgression of this principle provides the basis for most superhero franchises. These characters, by virtue of centering the rationale for their righteous vigilantism, occupy a liminal space between guardian of the peace and social menace. Such a moral system is only sustainable through the artifice of the story’s narrator who ultimately wants readers to see the hero as good and thus constructs conflict resolution to support that. In reality, this moral system is where we locate fascist ideologies.

Fascist ideologies are like superheroism in that they take self-righteousness to be equivalent to general righteousness so long as vigilantism proves successful. More successful is the vigilante whose success accords him a loyal following. Unlike most superhero stories, real-life humans are prone to error without a sufficient social basis to check their hypotheses. This is evident in the proliferation of peer-review in academic literature; executive boards in corporate and non-profit enterprises; and of course the deliberative form of government that has become increasingly the norm since the eighteenth century.
Perhaps there is a little fascist in all of us. That voice that would make everything as it should be if not for societal strictures. That sense of moral indignation that one is prepared to do what society needs but does not want.

This is the locus of fascism. The executive sweeping away the degeneracy without sentiment. Disconnected from society as a true elite he grants no special favors. He perceives the social moral matrix and applies it ruthlessly, transgressing against that same moral matrix to do so.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Nazi in Hiding Disavows Nazis in Public

After a brief honeymoon of solidarity between The Daily Stormer's Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer's wing of the alt-right, it seems that Anglin is once again a negative nancy. Today Anglin published a blog post entitled "Official Daily Stormer Position: Don't Go to 'Unite the Right 2' - We Disavow" which self-explanatory as the title is, the reasoning is revealing.

Anglin give three major reasons: the doxxing is dangerous, the numbers are embarrassing, and the violence is off-putting. Rather than attempting to gather in public, Anglin advocates a retreat to the internet and underground organizing.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Stupid Things About Holocaust Denial On Facebook

So Mark Zuckerberg stepped in it, this time seeming to insist that Holocaust denial not be removed from Facebook despite how personally detestable it is to him. For Zuckerberg, what matters is intent to denigrate rather than merely spreading misinformation. However, Holocaust denial is part of a long-term strategy to recruit people to national socialism.

Monday, June 11, 2018

PE of Fash Week VI: Fake News and Mutual Aid (Reading List)

This last class in the political economy of fascism minicourse is meant to emulate the periodic "debriefs" I have programmed into the full-semester version of the course. I believe it is extremely important that, after rendering the coherence of fascism on its own terms, one take the time to debunk its central claims. Although I do this throughout the course during the lecture/discussion, designating an entire week's readings to such an exercise is, in my view, crucial in distinguishing this course from one of simple fascist indoctrination.

As I repeatedly say, fascism is disturbingly compelling. When one takes the time to piece it together into its coherent esoteric ideology, one is engaged in the exact game that draws people into fascism -- a game driven by curiosity and the self-satisfaction of figuring it out. In addition, fascism does point out valid contradictions about the way society operates (largely borrowing from leftist rhetoric). These critiques are then used to leverage a political race to the bottom, justifying underhandedness on the basis of a perceived supernatural enemy's underhandedness.

Monday, June 4, 2018

PE of Fash Week V: Free Speech and the Fascist Creep (Reading List)

The "required" readings in this week's class provided three levels of analysis of the phenomenon of fascist recruitment. The Simi and Futrell piece provides the most intimate portrait with a focus on white power activists, mostly neo-nazi skinheads, navigating normal society. The Berbrier piece provides an analysis of white power activist's public rhetoric since the transformation of the movement one based on militias to one based on conferences. The Perry piece provides the most zoomed-out picture, giving an overall account of the transformation of the white power movement in the post-Civil Rights era.

All three authors note the untenability of their subjects' core beliefs in public. Whereas Berbrier investigates how white power activists reframe their rhetoric for a post-WWII audience, Simi and Futrell explore the justification of individual white power activists in selectively hiding their leanings altogether. Perry provides a general overview of the development of the former phenomenon.

Monday, May 28, 2018

PE of Fash Week IV: Confederate Monuments and the Historic Imaginary (Reading List)

This class is directed at tracing the line from fascist social theory through fascist philosophy of history to fascist aesthetics. For the most part, the class focuses on Italian Fascism and its parallels with US white nationalism in this regard. This is important not only because of the central place that mythologizing the past around artifacts has in fascist political practice, but also because of the central place that culture has in fascist political theory.

For the fascist, social change goes from culture to politics to economics. Marxists, it should be noted, perceive this chain of causality in exactly the reverse order, though beginning in the 1920's, Marxists began to explore a mutual determination between these three phenomenon. The fascist reasoning, grafted onto liberal Enlightenment reasoning, posits that any nation is driven by the will of its people through culture. This culture shapes the form of political outcomes which ultimately shape economic outcomes through policy. For fascists, the form of government is irrelevant to this phenomenon. In actuality, this is a far more compelling argument under representative systems than authoritarian or directly democratic ones.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

PE of Fash Week III: Eugenics and the Alt-Right (Reading List)

This class is intended to address what I consider to be the closest historical precedent to the alt-right: the eugenics movement. I say this not only by manner of ideological comparison, nor only manner of social insertion. I say this because the core organizations the bred the original alt-right - VDare, New Century Foundation (American Renaissance), and the National Policy Institute - are part of a non-profit financial network that has preserved eugenics since its decline following the discovery of DNA and the sequencing of the human genome.

The "required" readings cover the history and present of the eugenics movement. The Belkhir & Duyme piece explores the core assertions and fallacies of the eugenics movement both in its historical manifestation, but also in the present day. The Smedley & Smedley piece adds color to the Belkhir & Duyme piece, going beyond the mere refutation of biological, especially genetic, origins of social identity and aptitude constructs to give an accounting of the historical and social origins of these constructs using race as its case study.

The piece by Baker is presented as a means of focusing on how eugenics functioned logistically to popularize their approach. Baker's piece, which highlights the attempts by the organized eugenics movement to appeal to Christianity, is especially illustrative given that the movement ultimately wasn't able to get enthusiastic support on the basis of tying eugenic beliefs to Christianity. However, in the process the movement underwent numerous, ultimately cosmetic changes, hiding and repackaging core principles to appeal to an audience averse to themes of biological evolution, birth control, and selective breeding.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

PE of Fash Week II: Economic Anxiety and Angry White Men (Reading List)

Tonight was the second night of my six-class minicourse on the political economy of fascism. The readings for this class touch on a debate that cropped up in the wake of Donald Trump's ascendancy to the presidency: was his base motivated by racism or economic anxiety. I picked readings that problematized this dichotomy and the epistemology that would assert that these two phenomena are unrelated.

In the sphere of fascist ideology, economic outcomes are critically tied to the composition of the citizenry. On the one hand, fascists take the promise of democratic representation at face value, and thus political power is fundamentally a matter of the demography of the electorate. On the other hand, fascists see extra-electoral and extra-political factors bearing down on political, and hence economic, outcomes. In either instance, the fascist sees representative democracy as systemically corrupted.

Friday, April 6, 2018

PE of Fash Week I: How to Talk to a Nazi (Reading List)

Tonight was the first of a six week course I designed for the New York Public Library. The course begins with an overview of the course in the form of my "How to Talk to a Nazi" workshop based on my zine "You Can't Punch Every Nazi." I gave students a copy of the zine. The course then goes through investigating fascist ideology at four levels: as a political religion, a social science, a governmental theory, and a political praxis. The course then concludes with an exploration of alternative perspectives that answer some of the legitimate critiques of liberalism that fascists appropriate from the far left but resolve with cynical authoritarianism.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Quick and Dirty Fascism Studies Lit Review

In preparing to write a lit review due on the 8th, I've decided to make a spreadsheet of a selection of books notable either for their influence on fascism studies or their novelty. In another measure of procrastinating on actually writing the literature review itself, here is a short list of notable authors and a quick summary of what they thought about fascism. Any scholar not appearing on this list was omitted with the utmost contempt.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Liberalism Is Probably Impossible Reader

Since the Democratic Party and its enabling non-profits have recently staked their hopes on an electoral process that they have insisted for over a year was compromised by foreign actors, I have been thinking about the consistent failure of electoral strategy in light of fascist upsurge. What history demonstrates time and again, from the Pact of Pacification to the Sermon on the Mount, is that a brutal government cannot be thwarted through obsequiousness. Liberalism, understood not as a political orientation but a governmental paradigm, ultimately proves impossible. Whatever is won in the moral spectacle of violence cannot make up for the literally everything that is materially lost. Suffering is suffering. Dying is dying. Below, I present five texts that tackle different aspects of the logic and application of liberalism which prefigures its own demise.

Shawn Rosenberg - Against Neoclassical Political Economy: A Political Psychological Critique

Ed White - The Value of Conspiracy Theory

Frederick Shauer - Uncoupling Free Speech

Mitch Berbrier - "Half the Battle": Cultural Resonance, Framing Processes, and Ethnic Affectations in Contemporary White Separatist Rhetoric

Frantz Fanon - On Violence (from Wretched of the Earth)

Jean Paul Sartre - Preface to Fanon's Wretched of the Earth

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

All That For This

Published an article over at Jewish Currents today about the first round of acquittals in the J20 trials. The process dragged out for almost a year, and somehow made it to a jury despite some rather unusual procedures. Here's a sample:

During the pretrial, hearing dates were rescheduled without notifying defendants who were required under penalty of arrest to attend. Law enforcement agents were demonstrated by the defense to be lying on the witness stand, and in closing arguments, lead prosecutor Jen Kerkhoff all but told the jury that their instructions were irrelevant and that reasonable doubt “doesn’t mean a whole lot.”
“We saw that the U.S. Attorney’s office has no problem with the fact that their interests overlap with [rightwing organizations] Project Veritas or the Oath Keepers,” explained Menefee-Libey. “We also saw that the DC Superior Court is willing to let all of these things proceed under their legitimizing purview. This was procedurally strange, but politically and morally terrifying and abhorrent.”
What the trials have helped bring to light above all else is the absolute disregard for procedure on the part of the police.
According to court documents, law enforcement had infiltrated the planning for all three events but zeroed in on the the anti-fascist, anti-capitalist bloc, which departed from Logan Circle at 10:00 that morning. Despite apparent concerns about their undercover infiltration methods, the DC police opted not to contact the protest organizers, as required by the department’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding First Amendment activity. On the day of the protest, moreover, the police violated more of their SOP: In radio communications entered into evidence, the police commander and frontline officer discussed whether the protesters were anarchists, and made the call to mass arrest before the march even left the park, which violates their SOP requirement that protesters be arrested and charged individually. (Since the SOP was issued in 2004, mass arrests have been effectively prohibited in DC.)
Certainly going to be chilling to watch the prosecutor bring 188 more people to trial.