Charlottesville – Gimme Shelter?

The story of the events in Charlottesville hardly needs to be re-told. While the “Unite the Right” rally may have been the work of that alt.NS/KKK-lite wing of things that I find particularly alienating (think, Hunter Wallace, et al for example) make no mistake – the violence came from the antifa left, aided and abetted by the action and inaction of the powers-that-be and the “moderate” left. Further, while some of the more objectionable views expressed by certain “Unite the Right” participants played into the hands of our enemies (See Colin Lidell’s Charlottesville: You Know I’m Right) experience shows that even the most tepid sort of alt.lite civic nationalist gathering would have drawn (qualitatively at least) the same sort of violent, thuggish response.

Given the lessons of the past few years, none of this, of course, should be a surprise(1).  But, without a doubt, difficult times are ahead.  Clearly every effort will be made by the system and its flunkies on the left to use the Charlottesville events to intimidate and silence all anti-system voices.  In this regard today’s piece by Greg Johnson (with whom I usually disagree) The Altamont of the Alt Right? is a must-read, especially in its conclusion:

This is a call to arms. In the coming days and weeks, I want every one of my readers to both speak the truth about what happened in Charlottesville and also use this as an opportunity to impeach the credibility of the mainstream media and the political establishment. You need to speak out among your friends and relatives. You need to speak out on social media. You need to raid comment threads. You need to call into radio shows. You need to hone your talking points and share them with our comrades and allies. And you need to steel yourself for a long, hard fight, because the enemy never sleeps, never takes a day off, and never flags in flogging its lies to the masses….

This is only a setback if we allow it to be. We must seize upon it as our chance to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the Left and reassert the righteousness of our cause. This is an Übermensch moment for our movement. An obstacle has been thrown in our path. We need to surmount it. We have been presented with a crisis. We have to turn it into an opportunity.

So what are you waiting for?

Yes, what are we waiting for?

 

(1) I will forgo rehashing my views on the antifa and the role they play, but if you are curious, see my posts The System’s Useful (and Violent) Idiots and On the Left and “Fascism”.

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Don’t Trust Anyone Over 53?

The task to be accomplished is not the conservation of the past, but the redemption of the hopes of the past. – Theodor Adorno & Max Horkheimer – Dialectic of Enlightenment

In a couple of recent posts Vanishing American II has justly chastised those modern-day Jack Weinbergs of the right who seek to blame baby-boomers as a group for our current woes. Denouncing the “nasty rhetoric, based… on some kind of visceral resentment and animus” of one anti-boomer commentator, in his post Dear Boomer-bashers Mr. American II ably rebuts the notion of our generation as the prime source of all political and cultural evil.

Unfortunately, VA II then proceeds to fall into a similar stance of generational finger-pointing, now, however, directed against the boomers’ parents. Thus:

… this PC nonsense wasn’t started by the Boomers. It was started by the previous generation. You know, the ones who elected LBJ. The ones who pushed the Civil Rights movement. The ones who took over academia for the Left. The ones who gave the Cultural Left a stranglehold on the media. All of these things were achieved by the generation born in the 1925-1945 period.

If you want a generation to hate then the generation born 1925-1945 is well worthy of your hatred.

While I’m reluctant to lump VA II in with the anti-boomers, unfortunately all of their comments seem to reflect the same ignorance of the history of American populist identitarian struggle over the course of much of the 20th Century and, worse than that, echo the left’s version of the history of that period in which the massive defensive struggles of the white working and middle classes largely disappear.

The decades from World War II until the 1980s saw intense social conflict over the transformation of the United States.  Not surprisingly, this process is now portrayed as one in which only the “progressives” – the civil rights movements, the new left and liberalism in general – had any real agency.   At best, the defenders of the traditional American nation end up portrayed as a mob of faceless, mindless “deplorables” when they are noticed at all.

While these struggles were overwhelmingly locally-focused – over neighborhood and school boundaries, public recreational spaces, urban re-development, busing, property taxes, crime, and school books – all directly resisted in one way or another the processes through which America was re-made.  (These intensely local roots were at once the source of their strengths and eventual failure.)

Looking back, the breadth and militance of these struggles is almost hard to believe – from what Arnold Hirsch calls a state of “chronic urban guerilla warfare” in Chicago in the 1940s to the inspiring mass mobilizations, boycotts and riots of Boston’s “Southies” (and “Easties”) against busing in the 1970s.

So, when saboteur365 says regarding the baby-boomers: “Not all of us were left wing, hypocritical zealots. Just most of us” he is not simply wrong but also complicit in the left’s re-writing of history – privileging the new left (mainly drawn from the youth of the elite and upper strata of the white middle classes) over the populist right which represented a far larger segment of our people.

My objection to the alt movement’s historical amnesia is not, however, simply motivated by self-defensiveness (as a boomer myself) by an abstract desire for historical accuracy or even by the recognition of the respect we owe our forbears.  In fact, we have a tremendous amount to learn from the rise, the at least partial successes and the ultimate disappearance of these movements.

The general failure of the anti-system right to orient toward and learn from the movements of the past is a sign of its apolitical (or at best, pre-political) nature.  Up to now, we have functioned mainly as cheerleaders and scolds rather that real participants, often hiding behind a fundamentally abstentionist understanding of “metapolitics”.

By far the most valuable thing about Trump’s rise is not what he will accomplish as president (as we are coming to see more and more each day) but the re-emergence of a mass populist movement of the right.  Understanding the experiences of our past is a necessary element in determining how we orient toward this movement, working to build it and, at the same time, to radicalize it.

So… here’s some homework:

While books on the movements of the left vastly outnumber those on the populist right, there are a number of important studies of this period which are worthwhile correctives to the dominant narrative (although one often has to read around the authors’ leftism).  Here are a few things to start with:
Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s – Ronald Formisano
Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism – Jonathan Rieder
Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960 – Arnold R. Hirsch
Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 – Kenneth D. Dur
Philadelphia Divided: Race and Politics in the City of Brotherly Love – James Wolfinger
The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing – E. Michael Jones –  This is an important book and one of the few on the topic that doesn’t require a “subversive reading”.  As interesting as it is however, it desperately needs a merciless editing and would be far more useful at half its almost 700 page length.
Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America – Victoria W. Wolcott
Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation – Matthew F. Delmont

A Note on the South: One will notice that I’ve largely ignored the experience of the struggle in the South during this period. This is partly due to my rejection of the apartheid order, but also to the fact that its political lessons seem much less relevant today than those drawn from the rest of the country. That said, the story of “massive resistance” is not without interest. Here are a couple of things to start with:

Massive Resistance: The White Response to the Civil Rights Movement – George Lewis
Massive Resistance: Southern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction – Cliff Webb

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.

Richard Spencer and Roman-Salute-gate

The National Policy Institute‘s November 19th Conference Become Who We Are 2016 was by most accounts an energized and well-attended event drawing a younger/newer crowd than the usual suspects one might see, for example, at a typical AR gathering. (For a good overview, see Matt Fournoy’s piece at RightOn.)

With the seeming ride to prominence of the alt right on Donald Trump’s coattails, the conference was naturally the subject of far greater attention than in the past.  Hostile demonstrations and harassment by the predictable antifa types were more significant than previously and there was far more media presence – all of it (or at least the vast bulk of it) waiting with bated breath for confirmation of its on-going alt-right-as-crypto-fascist meme.

So, when NPI President Richard Spencer ended his closing speech “Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail Victory!”, the response of a handful of audience members with “Roman” salutes was predictably captured on the cell phone of a reporter for The Atlantic and subsequently publicized across the globe, serving to “confirm”, along with the many print articles on the conference – for example, The NY Time’s Alt-Right Gathering Exults in Trump Election With Nazi-Era Salute – the core neo-Nazism of the alt right (and by implication, of Trump himself).

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