On the Alt Right and the 59 Missiles

I’m not giving up on the God-Emperor yet…. But this is a very good reminder that he wasn’t ever anything more than a long shot. – Vox Day – Blunder or complete debacle?

Many of us, myself included, were willing to give working with the system a try to see what would happen. A dismal Trump failure will only mean that we will revert to the position we were in prior to 2015, when we were encouraging people to think outside the establishment and business as usual. – John Morgan – Trump’s Red Line . . . & Ours

The national bourgeoisie is a class which is politically very weak and vacillating…. They are part of the broad masses of the people but not the main body, nor are they a force that determines the character of the revolution. – Mao Tse-Tung – On the Question of the National Bourgeoisie and the Enlightened Gentry (1)

Not surprisingly, the Trump administration’s attack on Syria has caused consternation and anger across the spectrum of opinion of the nationalist right, especially given the on-going and apparently successful efforts of the military, financial and mainstream GOP to marginalize the Bannon wing of the Trump administration.

While much of the alt right and especially the alt lite blogosphere continues to (correctly) support the Trump regime at least critically, it is safe to say that the honeymoon is over.

Trumps reversion to a Clintonian foreign policy is, of course, disappointing but the response within the alt circles is also rather a let-down. Comments like Mr. Morgan’s reflect the fundamentally naive and apolitical nature of most of this movement – its inability to understand that the system and the elites behind it are fundamentally committed to globalism and multiculturalism and that only a mass, radical and independent movement of our nation’s working and middle classes will be able to challenge the current trajectory of development of 21st century capitalism in any meaningful way. Further, Mr. Morgan’s implication that the creation of such a movement is counter-posed to electoral work misses the point that, approached correctly, there is an important synergy between the two strategies.

Trump’s campaign, as important as it was in stimulating this movement, was too successful too quickly. Consequently, with no real political power base to counter the pressure on him from the political-military-economic establishment, the nationalist elements of his program are being blocked or dropped. And so, the recent events in Syria, however unfortunate, are no surprise and should be seen as a reminder that the hard work of real-world organizing lies ahead.

(1)See my previous post, Trump as National Bourgeois.

Trump – Old Wine?

There’s an interesting piece on our new president, Trump Revives the Fordist-Keynesian Pact at the Spanish blogs La Torre de Marfil and Hispaniainfo.

In it the author, Gabriel Garcia, asserts that Trump is no revolutionary, explaining that he is merely attempting to re-establish the economic-political order that reigned in the US from the end of World War 2 until roughly 1973, while arguing unpersuasively that Trump’s motivation stems directly from the fact that his own businesses (casinos and hotels) require a relatively well-paid population of consumers in order to prosper.

There’s no question that Trump’s economic populism aims to recreate something like the prosperous post-war years of increasing working class incomes and stable employment. However, Mr Garcia misses the national elements at work in the Trump movement. Explicitly, Trump espouses a civic nationalism deeply at odds with the otherwise-prevailing elite globalist discourse from both left and right. Implicitly, Trump’s movement and sub-texts represent the beginnings of an identitarian/national awakening on the part of middle America.  In the current world these elements are profoundly subversive in essence even if not in form since:

– The ruling class is globalist in its basic nature; nationalism in its ethno- or even its civic form is in fundamental opposition to the logic of capitalist development.
– The Fordist-Keynesian form was in the interests of the ruling class at the time – now it is not.
– Trump’s nationalism, while not revolutionary on its face, calls into question the current neo-liberal system itself – like “Peace, Land and Bread” did to the existing order in 1917.
– Neo-liberal globalism includes an assault against the prosperity and even the being of middle America.
– The demonization of middle American whites as racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc works to paralyze resistance on our part, while mobilizing various minority communities as troops in the struggle against us.
– While Trump is no revolutionary himself, his refusal to accept the political limits of the dominant discourse opens the door to much more radical movements.
– As Garcia acknowledges, these revived nationalist projects are taking place in the US – the center of the globalist system – rather than in some relatively peripheral country.

None of this is to argue that we will be building barricades any time soon (or even ever) or that Trump will really attempt to push his agenda a significant distance toward its logical conclusions (although the evidence of the past couple of weeks gives one hope). Rather, he represents a least the possible opening of a new political age.

Notes: Mr. Garcia’s post is centered on an extensive quote from a recent book by Laureano Luna – La lucha obrera en la era del capitalismo global.  Luna is an interesting figure who originated the term “autonomia historica,” expressing a recognition that the Spanish anti-system right needed to break with its addiction to LARPing the 1930s.  He was involved in the formation of what seemed to be a very promising enterprise, a party called the National Left in 2010 or 2011, which unfortunately seems to have gone nowhere. The book sounds like something worth reading if I can actually put my hands on a copy.

Talking about Mr. Luna’s book, I was once again reminded of how irritatingly expensive all of those interesting-sounding Spanish magazines seem to be – things like Nihil Obstat (at 20€ for the latest copy) or Revista de Historia del Fascismo (at 18€) – and when you add in shipping… How about some e-versions?!

Love Your Enemy

Jean Hyppolite – If you are right, Mr. Freund, and the friend-enemy category determines politics, all that’s left for me is to just tend my garden.

Julien Freund – Mr. Hyppolite, as with all pacifists, you believe that you can choose your enemy, but that is incorrect. You believe that if you don’t want to have enemies, you will not have them. But it is the enemy who chooses you. If he wants you to be his enemy, so you will be. Your fine protests of friendship will be for naught. You will not even be allowed to just tend your garden. – From El ManifiestoJulien Freund o la imaginación del desastre. (1)

For decades middle American whites, having fled to the suburbs, hoped to “all just get along” – with disastrous results. Especially after the election of Ronald Reagan, the grassroots resistance of the 1950s-1970s quickly faded away and the MARs phenomenon celebrated by the late Sam Francis largely disappeared. Focused on “tending our gardens” we lived in a state of denial, naively trusting “our” elites to protect our interests. Decades passed and, with only a few exceptions, we slept while the transformation of the country continued around us.

With the economic crisis which began almost 10 years ago we began to wake back up, initially leading to the false start known as the Tea Party.  It has been, however, the increased aggressiveness of the our enemies and the overt betrayal by our “friends” under Obama which created the basis for the Trump revolt at the grassroots.

There was no better example of this than the campaign of Hillary Clinton, a campaign that reflected almost explicitly the belief that a new hegemonic block had successfully been consolidated based in a large part on the identification of white middle America as its “enemy”.

As it turned out, HRC’s approach was premature and she has been roundly criticized for her over-confidence.  Much of this criticism, however, has been of her strategy and tactics rather than the neo-liberal core of her politics(2) and there is always some danger that the Democrats will adopt a more subtle approach until the balance of power has shifted further in their direction.

Thus, the risk of course is that, as was the case following Reagan’s election, the MARs 2.0 movement that brought us victory in November will dissipate.  And so we should be grateful for the completely unconcealed and unrelenting hostility of the other side.  Fortunately, as much as we might wish that our enemies would just leave us alone, it is clear that there is no returning to tending our gardens in peace.

 

Notes: (1) For Spanish speakers, a useful collection of articles on Freund can be found in issue #84 of Elementos which in turn can be found at the unfortunately now-inactive New European Conservative.

(2) For example, see the widely-discussed essay by Mark Lilla The End of Identity Liberalism, which, after denouncing the “repugnant outcome” of the presidential election, rejects the bludgeoning approach involved in the identity strategy which mobilizes minority constituencies in a direct assault on whiteness.  Instead, Lilla advocates a liberalism based on a more gradual and inclusive “hearts and minds” approach, advising the avoidance of unnecessarily direct conflict:

As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale.

And:

A post-identity liberal press would begin educating itself about parts of the country that have been ignored, and about what matters there, especially religion. And it would take seriously its responsibility to educate Americans about the major forces shaping world politics, especially their historical dimension.

In other words, to Lilla it’s still more about boiling frogs than breaking eggs.

Starting the New Year Right

What better way to kick things off than with Trump’s epic public slap-down of Paul Ryan & co. around the Office of Congressional Ethics!

If Conservatism, Inc. thought it was going to have it’s way, these latest developments should help put it in its place. After all, as Jake Novak points out in Trump is going to body slam the GOP a lot more in 2017

It’s become very clear that Trump will continue to make a lot of conservative Republicans very mad in 2017. And here’s why he can get away with it: It’s not just that Trump won the election and he’s going to be the president. Remember that, while the general election was very close, Trump utterly gutted the GOP in the primaries. That was the real landslide of 2016 and it sends the message that he doesn’t really need much from the Republican Party — especially its ideology — to succeed. Trump needed and probably still needs the official Republican label after his name, but that’s about it.

Looking forward to a great year…!