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

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.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Why I Went on a Nazi's Podcast: Approaches and Goals

Plenty of far leftists have ended up in far right media in one way or another, mostly by accident. One of the hosts of a podcast I have been on twice (holiday episode coming soon!) called 2 Spicy actually got blindsided by Gavin McInnes in 2014 before he had made a name for himself beyond his status as persona non grata at Vice. (Apparently, McInnes only varied by degree from the rest of Vice's leadership.) Heather made the unfortunate mistake of taking an invite to do media without doing background research. Always do background research.

I've done a bit of background on the show I'm set to go on. (I'm writing this in advance of going on the show.) If you haven't heard of Millennial Woes, you're not missing much. His only noteworthy accomplishment seems to be speaking at the 2016 Maggiano's Seige NPI conference. Literally. Millennial Woes (who, despite having been doxxed as Colin Robertson still told me to call him 'Woes') is a 35 year old Scottish white nationalist with a mean antisemitic streak, anti-immigrant views, and a strange ambivalence towards bestiality. After he was doxxed (as a result of his only noteworthy accomplishment), his messaging suddenly became extremely conciliatory with regard to racial violence. You know how fash do.

Every year, Millennial Woes does a month long series of interviews he calls Millenniyule. This year he had designs to do 50 interviews in December. As a result of a fight on Twitter, I became one of them. What I hope to lay out here is how it came about that I got this "opportunity," my rationale for accepting it, my strategy for approaching it, and my goals.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Žižek Don't

I first heard about Slavoj Žižek when he was accused of plagiarizing from white nationalist magazine American Renaissance. By 2014, my research interests had moved from monetary & fiscal policy and business cycles to the political economy of fascism.

I hadn't studied much in the way of esoteric Hegelian idealist philosophers masquerading as Lacanian Marxists, but by virtue of my study of fascism, I happened upon his "work." I'm still not sure whether Zizek considers himself a crypto-fascist, but he sure leads the far left into the arms of the far right a whole lot. Anyway, this happened:

Header of Independent article by Slavoj Žižek titled Alt-right Trump supporters and left-wing Bernie Sanders fans should join together to defeat capitalism

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back from Boston

This past weekend, I attended the Boston Anarchist Bookfair to lead a workshop titled "How to Talk to a Nazi." I first gave the workshop as part of the DC Action Camp put on by #DisruptJ20 in advance of the presidential inauguration. The workshop has since become a zine called "You Can't Punch Every Nazi" that I released in June and updated last month.

Because of some last minute scheduling changes, I was also able to table and sell the zine. I got invited to some parties and met come great people. Learned some stuff about the Boston "Free Speech" rally in August that wasn't reported in the news. Look forward to what happens this weekend.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

An Annotated Interview with Gary Snow

I first met (William) Gary Snow as he was about to get into yet a third fight with antifascists, this time at a protest of Richard Spencer at the University of Florida. Snow, wearing a heather gray “Fuck Antifa” T-shirt with the number “45” on the sleeve - a reference to the president - was there to protest Richard Spencer, too, so he said.

Snow came with four flags in all. He had an RBG “Black Lives Matter” flag and insisted to anyone who would listen that he believed that Black Lives Matter. He also had the so-called “Blue Lives Matter” flag - the thin blue line superimposed over a US flag. He was holding these two flags together and turning them to reveal the other with the charisma of a magician, narrating, “Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. Black lives matter. Blue lives matter.”

He also came bearing an antifa flag and a Nazi flag which he would occasionally take out of his back pocket to stand on when talking to press. Apart from the initial altercation when he first walked in that I pulled him away from in order to conduct this interview, he didn’t incite anyone apart from his choice of flags and shirt.

When I approached Snow as he was having words with four local antifascists, he recognized me almost immediately. I had no idea who he was, but the antifascists sure did and they followed us shouting as Mr. Snow directed me toward the line of Highway Patrol where he felt safe to do an interview. The antifascists lined up about five feet away continuing to shout for most of the interview which was helpful because at points they gave me material for questions to ask. I reproduce below the annotated, but unredacted interview with Gary Snow.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Political Economy of Fascism Mini-Course

This mini-course is designed for popular education and to operate as either a series or as individual stand-alone workshops. The course begins with a review of my zine “You Can’t Punch Every Nazi” as a participatory workshop. The following four classes elaborate on the four layers of fascist doctrine I introduce in the first class. The last class takes account of fascist ideology to build a holistic antifascist theory highlighting existing antifascist praxis. I had originally designed this course for open library courses such as those the NYPL holds regularly.

For once, the syllabus and course readings are in one central document. Check it out here!

Class summaries can be found here:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Do Nazis Have Against Hewlett-Packard?

In a weird twist of circumstance, an action planned by the Revolutionary Communist Party is actually drawing some attention. As with most times the RCP generates attention for an action, it is negative attention from an action that is misconstrued.

A benign and, knowing RCP, poorly planned day of protest against the "Trump/Pence regime" called for by their front group Refuse Fascism has been filtered through the far right conspiracy-sphere and come out the other side a coming race war led by antifa. This has been facilitated by fascist ecosystem of fake antifa social media accounts, a broad network of millenarian conspiracy blogs, and a gullible conservative base eager to confirm their biases without auxiliary research. In the fray, the first group seems to have an unlikely target for their planned crossfire: Hewlett Packard?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Universities Are Protecting Free Speech for Bigots at the Expense of Student Safety

"When I see these people on the roofs," said University of Florida (UF) student Ebony Love, gesturing to the groups of snipers on nearby campus buildings, "I understand the reason why they're up there, but at the same time, you have to take my money and pay for that, but I couldn't get an escort to walk me to my classes, and you said you were going to post security outside these classes and you didn't."

When I talked to her, Love was leaning on a police barricade set up outside of the auditorium on campus where prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer was due to speak on October 19. The night before, however, Love was escorting a student to an 8 pm exam. She and another student sat watch outside for two hours in lieu of the campus security she said the university had promised but failed to provide.

Continue reading at Truthout

Monday, October 9, 2017

The One Thing Media Won't Tell You About Antifa

Since Richard Spencer was punched twice at the presidential inauguration, liberal commentators, egged on by their right-wing counterparts, have been pontificating about the ethicality of violence against fascists in light of their grade-school understanding of civic engagement. Confronting fascism is essential to guaranteeing a society free and safe for all of us. It makes no sense to defend the free speech of a movement that, according to a July headline on AltRight.com, wants to “get rid of democracy.” But while physical struggles between antifa and fascists have dominated press coverage since Charlottesville, tackling fascism requires more than confronting them in the streets.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Interview on "The Radical Imagination"

Last week, I sat down with Jim Vrettos for The Radical Imagination on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. We had an hour-long conversation about policing, pedagogy, and antifa. Watch it in full below.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together

In the aftermath of Charlottesville, the Associated Press (AP) has updated its style guide to change the standard usage of the term ‘alt-right’. The guide, widely followed across the US media, first added the term in November of last year, after Donald Trump won the presidential election, revealing the alt-right to be more than an electoral flash in the pan.

The update added anti-Semitism to the original definition. It now reads:

‘A political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.’
Both the original and updated AP definitions resemble early attempts to explain fascism in the decades following the second world war. Like the style guide versions, early writers focused attention on regime or movement attributes. This approach, often employing lists of various sizes, proved either too inclusive, or not inclusive enough.

Continue reading at Red Pepper

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sculpting the Present

Since the slaughter in Charlottesville by James Alex Fields Jr, of Vanguard America, a flurry of opinion has descended around the appropriate way to confront the various fascist organizations colluding and vying for institutional power. But however well intentioned, most of this commentary is poorly informed.

Rather than interrogating the motive force behind the far right, such debates largely fall along the lines of what the morally proper thing for an individual opposed to fascism ought to do.

Missing from much of this debate is why Richard Spencer’s coalition of Nazis was there in the first place. Spencer and his ilk had come to Charlottesville twice before their reprise on the 11th and 12th. In all three cases, they assembled by a statue of Robert E. Lee due to be removed by the city.

Continue reading at The Leveller

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump Equilibrium

Impeachment is not going to happen. A Constitutional crisis is not going to happen. Both of these things require the Republican party - or at least parts of it - to commit political suicide by materially opposing Trump.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Is White Genocide?

Drexel University politics professor George Ciccariello-Maher has come under fire from right wing media outlets for tweeting an incendiary call for white genocide this Christmas.

To those uninitiated to the white nationalist underworld, any call for genocide would be reprehensible. However, the term "white genocide" has an insidious history as a propaganda tool.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Political Economy of Fascism Syllabus

In the wake of the election of an outright racist, sexist homophobe, now seems as good a time as any to debut my Political Economy of Fascism syllabus. This course is designed to take students through the complex of political theories that were grafted together in the early 20th century to become the doctrine of fascism. After familiarizing students with the historical developments leading to fascism, the basic principles of fascist thought are explored.

Given the compelling nature of fascist anti-rationalism, students are provided critical texts to disabuse them of the rabbit holes that fascism builds to pull people in. Instructors using this syllabus are strongly encouraged not to take this lightly. As per the syllabus, students should be instructed to do secondary source readings and debrief readings before reading the primary source (fascist) texts. Please instruct students that if they do not intend to do the secondary source and debrief readings, they should not dip into the primary source texts.

You can download the syllabus as a PDF using the Dropbox link here
Syllabus

The readings are separated by week in this Dropbox folder along with a text list of readings accessible online here
Readings

Instructors feel free to use this syllabus and reading list, but please let me know in the comments below. If you would like to modify the syllabus, I would be happy to provide the source LaTeX file the syllabus was written in.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sam Hyde Will Never Be Responsible For A Mass Shooting

Sam Hyde is the co-host of a questionable anti-comedy & prank show called Million Dollar Extreme and he is not responsible for a shooting today at UCLA. As with most publicized US shootings for the past year or two, neo-nazis are once again intentionally trying to muddy the information pouring out of developing news stories.