Far-right conspiracies abound at Phyllis Schlafly Eagle Council in St. Louis
The 46th annual Eagle Council played host to a litany of far-right leaders in St. Louis, kicking off the weekend Friday, September 22 with a keynote speech from anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant extremist David Horowitz and ending with a Sunday afternoon rally headlined by Stephen Bannon, whose nativist ideology has influenced the so-called alt-right.
Throughout the weekend, conference speakers and attendees traded conspiracies and myths that vilified Muslims, immigrants, refugees and LGBT people.
The “Eagle Council” is the annual conference of the Eagle Forum, the political interest group founded by the influential and polarizing conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. The meeting in St. Louis from September 22 through 24 was the second of two rival Eagle Councils in two weeks, the result of an acrimonious split in Eagle Forum leadership after Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump during the 2016 election. When Schlafly died in September 2016, that disagreement led to a schism that tore the Eagle Forum in two. The pro-Trump faction, called Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, put on the St. Louis conference. The group includes Schlafly’s two sons, Andy and John, as well as Missouri Tea Party politician and Schlafly ally Ed Martin.
Horowitz set a paranoid tone early, delivering a speech at dinner on Friday that imagined an America pushed to the brink of Civil War by a malevolent, powerful “Left.” He told the audience that leftist operatives were driven by an ideological framework they call “Cultural Marxism.” In reality, Cultural Marxism is a conspiracy born on the far fringes of the extreme right that alleges a secret and sinister plan by the left to destroy Western culture.
He also indulged in a common refrain of right wing victimhood, that America does indeed have a problem with racism — against whites. In a lengthy diatribe against the phrase “people of color,” Horowitz complained that this designation automatically “gets you at the front of the line” in the United States.
“Pirates in Africa, cannibals … beheaders, public beheaders in Syria — they’re all people of color,” he said. “White people are the bad people.”
Horowitz’s remarks were just the beginning. The rest of the weekend was a parade of wild theories and fictions. Maria Espinoza of the Remembrance Project claimed undocumented immigrants are committing murder with impunity. At the same session, a speaker compared Muslim refugees to the alien invaders in the film Independence Day who come to destroy Earth. He fielded questions and comments from attendees about sharia law in America and the false narrative that Europe is at the mercy of Muslim rape gangs.
“Europe is dead,” one participant fretted. “It just doesn’t know it’s dead.”
Babette Francis, a radical conservative from Australia, flew in to deliver a talk called “Islam: The Political Enemy,” where she repeatedly compared Islam to Nazism and said Muslims should free themselves by converting to Christianity.
It wouldn’t have been a proper Eagle Council without a few potshots at some of Schlafly’s oldest targets: feminists and LGBT people. David Usher, president of the anti-LGBT Center for Marriage Policy, said “alligator feminists” had a stranglehold on national policy. He traced some of this omnipotence to Barack Obama’s Council on Women and Girls.
“When he announced the office, he took every ranking NOW lesbian and put them on that committee,” Usher said. “So you have all of the worst, nastiest lesbians in the whole country in the White House.”
The conference also hosted Janet Porter, who spoke on Saturday about outlawing abortion. Her organization, Faith2Action, is designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because she has characterized LGBT people as diseased, violent and mentally ill. She has also said Noah’s flood in the Bible was God’s response to gay marriage, and she predicted in 2015 that if the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, the decision would prompt the Second Coming of Christ.
On Sunday, many attendees traded their blazers and ties for Infowars T-shirts. Bannon arrived to receive an award and headline a small rally featuring a series of far-right unknowns with political aspirations. Among them was Paul Nehlen, a Wisconsin Republican who challenged Paul Ryan in the 2016 primary and is looking for a rematch in 2018. In a question and answer session on Reddit in August, Nehlen said he thinks the Pizzagate conspiracy is real. In that same conversation, he belittled a participant by calling them “amazingly retarded.”
To some degree, propagating these kinds of far-fetched conspiracies is in keeping with Schlafly’s legacy of anti-intellectual conservatism. One of Schlafly’s favorite accessories during her heyday — along with her characteristic string of pearls and prim, perfectly coiffed hairstyle — was a proverbial tinfoil hat. She once accused the Truman administration of selling nuclear intelligence to foreign Communists and running a secret program to brainwash the American public. And no matter what the topic, her rhetoric painted her political enemies as nefarious agents hell-bent on destroying America.
But in the era of fake news and alternative facts, outlandish claims and baseless accusations coming from the Eagle Council are no longer just occasional outbursts from an extreme political interest group. They feed into a dangerous ecosystem of conspiracy that has found fertile ground across all factions of the radical right.
Peter Brimelow Blames ‘Cultural Marxists’ For Hotel’s Cancellation Of Anti-Immigrant Conference
On the October 24, 2017 episode of The Morning Ritual, host Garret Lewis interviewed Peter Brimelow, the leader of the anti-immigrant hate group VDARE.
Catalunya and the Coming Flood
Catalonia has opened a flood-gate. Whether or not they succeed, the rushing waters cannot be held back.
From Rhyd Wildermuth
He’d sent his favorite painting to his friend in Paris, a friend who’d managed to hide his anti-fascist politics long enough to keep his position in an archive as Nazi bootsteps echoed through the streets of France. He bid auf wiedersehen to his hosts in Marseilles, especially his close friend Hannah Arendt, stuffed the loose leaves of his final manuscript into a valise, and traveled to the small town of Cerbère, at the tip of the southwesternmost part of mainland France.
The Gestapo had direct orders to apprehend him. So, too, did the Stalinists. There was no where else for him to run but here.
He’d gotten a visa, arranged by an American poet friend. But the Nazis would not let a Jew leave France through any port, and his only hope was to flee by boat from Portugal. To get there, though, he would have to travel through Fascist Spain, and to get into Spain he had only one hope: Catalonia.
Only a year before, Catalonia had been free, the last bastion of anarchist and leftist resistance in Europe as fascism swept through the continent. Many Catalonians still remembered, still resisted, including the former mayor of the town of Portbou, just on the other side of the Pyrenees from Cerbère. The mayor had helped resistance fighters to the fascist Franco regime flee in France, and now he would help the Jewish Marxist philosopher, Walter Benjamin, flee the fascists in France towards safety.
I wish this story ended well.
I wish I could tell you a happy tale of how Benjamin, exhausted and harried, arrived finally at a port in Lisbon and from there sailed from European fascism forever. But he arrived in Portbou one day too late; Franco had just issued a decree that any Jews in Spain without Spanish citizenship should be immediately deported to France, and he was put under house arrest by the Guardia Civil.
Even the still-burning heart of resistance in Catalonia could not save him against the full weight of the Spanish government. But rather than face the gas chambers of Germany, he injected himself with a lethal dose of morphine, the last entry in his journal quoting Kafka:
“There is plenty of hope. But not for us.”
The Fiction of Kurt Andersen’s Fantasyland
October 18, 2017
Attacking the publics’ ability to think comes easily to Andersen, but again, almost in passing he reiterates that fantasy-thinking has always found a welcome home within elite networks which have incubated all manner of idiocies before serving them up to the public. Andersen states that on the forefront of the evolution of such nonsense in the recent period was the Esalen Institute which had been formed in 1962 by a pair of wealthy Stanford graduates. Esalen as it turned out became something of “a pilgrimage center for hundreds and thousands of youth interested in some sense of transcendence, breakthrough consciousness, LSD, the sexual revolution, encounter, being sensitive, finding your body, [and] yoga”.
As Andersen surmises, this group’s impact on the spread of New Age modalities has been huge: “Esalen is a mother church of a new American religion for people who think they don’t like churches or religions but who still want to believe in the supernatural.” But while it is true that one should recognize the detrimental influence of Esalen on rational thinking, the individualist spiritual ideas peddled therein had been doing the rounds for decades – as exemplified by the popular spiritual cult that was theosophy. Nevertheless, all manner of supernatural and anti-socialist ideas were certainly thrown into the melting pot of ideas at this new institute, producing irrational fads which were soon consumed and popularized by middle-class drop-outs like for instance Harvard psychology lecturer Timothy Leary. Indeed, much like the utopian socialists of the nineteenth century, many of these well-funded social experimenters then set about the task of building small communities of resistance in the belly of an inhumane society. The limited ambitions of these budding utopians however stand in stark contrast to the determined social projects embarked upon by socialists like the Black Panthers who during the same period sought to build mass based movements for social change along class lines.
The Postmodern Fantasy Machine
Providing useful context for understanding the renewed interest in mysticism, Andersen is correct in stating that such developments were “understandable, given the times: colonialism ending, genocide of American Indians confessed, U.S. wars in the developing world.” Yet as he goes on to explain, in their keenness to reject all that capitalist society had bequeathed them, spiritual seekers at Esalen and elsewhere went awry when they combined their social experiments for change with frontal attacks on the legacy of the Enlightenment and the core tenets of the scientific process itself.
Thriving in this irrational milieu, anti-socialist intellectuals then took their cue from the mainstream to hype the emerging New Age. Andersen points towards influential books like professor Theodore Roszak’s The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969), and Yale Law School professor Charles Reich’s The Greening of America (1970). Both books were well-publicized by elite media outlets and Reich’s bible soon “became The New York Times’ best-selling book (as well as a much-read 70-page New Yorker excerpt), and remained on the list for most of a year.”
Here Andersen once again emphasizes the backward role play by elite institutions, noting how in the 70s “mainstream publishers and media organizations were falling over themselves to promote and sell fantasies as nonfiction.” One good example is The Secret Life of Plants (1970) which was “a big best seller arguing that plants were sentient” which Andersen notes made the outlandish claim that this new truth about plants was being “suppressed by the FDA and agribusiness.” Other similarly ludicrous books mentioned by Andersen included Uri Geller’s 1975 autobiography, and Life After Life (1975) by Raymond Moody, the latter being “a philosophy Ph.D. who presented the anecdotes of several dozen people who’d nearly died as evidence of an afterlife” and whose “book sold many millions of copies”.
In addition to these developing fads, Andersen observes how “During the ’60s, large swaths of academia made a turn away from reason and rationalism as they’d been understood.” This was most pronounced in that area of intellectual enquiry now commonly referred to as postmodernism. Early leading lights in this field, as highlighted by Andersen, included the French philosopher Michel Foucault — a man whose “suspicion of reason became deeply and widely embedded in American academia.” Andersen continues: “Ever since, the American right has insistently decried the spread of relativism, the idea that nothing is any more correct or true than anything else.” This may be true, but Andersen neglects to mention that the relativist proponents of post-modernism have always faced vocal opposition from socialists (and particularly Marxists), i.e., those people who are serious about organizing and not just theorizing about ending oppression.
By contrast, ever content to muddy the intellectual waters of history, conservatives continue to promote the lie that an authoritarian clique of cultural Marxists control and dominate America’s academic institutions with relativist mumbo jumbo. However, those on the Left continue to oppose both the conservatives and all irrational philosophical turns precisely because they recognise the threat posed by such intrigues to the future of democracy. Andersen partially comprehends this danger, writing that when this relativist groundswell eventually “flowed out across America” “it helped enable” the spread of “extreme Christianities and lunacies on the right—gun-rights hysteria, black-helicopter conspiracism, climate-change denial, and more.” More to the point he adds:“The term useful idiot was originally deployed to accuse liberals of serving the interests of true believers further on the left. In this instance, however, postmodern intellectuals—post-positivists, poststructuralists, social constructivists, post-empiricists, epistemic relativists, cognitive relativists, descriptive relativists—turned out to be useful idiots most consequentially for the American right.”
Attacking the Left and Right
Keen to badmouth both socialists and conservatives, Andersen contrasts what he calls the “zealots on the left” with the moderate left. He was apparently particularly taken by the “sweet and reasonable” founding manifesto that was drafted in 1962 by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which Andersen holds in esteem because, he states, they declared themselves “in basic opposition to the communist system.” To be polite to Andersen, this is a fairly mechanistic appreciation of the founding of SDS, as a good case can be made that it was the powerful lobbying efforts undertaken by liberal civil rights activists like Bayard Rustin that were most responsible for convincing SDS to adopt his own fierce opposition to communism. In later years Rustin was not as successful in foisting his views upon other young activists, as he failed to get the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to moderate their constitution to include a formal commitment to anti-communism, while SDS themselves had no qualms about working alongside the far-left.
Returning to Andersen’s left-wing zealots, it turns out that the group that he had to the fore of his mind when making this point was the terrorist group Weather Underground — the tiny successor organization to the SDS. Having set up his own crude caricature of what constituted left-wing politics, Andersen then adds that the right-wing had become “unhinged” as well. He explains how leading agencies of the State (including the police, the FBI and the CIA) began to “to spy on, infiltrate, and besmirch” organizations on the left which he said “thereby validated the preexisting paranoia on the new left and encouraged its wing nuts’ revolutionary delusions.” But on the issue of repression this is an understatement to say the least as State agencies went far beyond merely besmirching the left, they also helps others to firebomb their offices and murdered their leaders. A prominent example of the latter took place on December 4, 1969 when the police slaughtered two leaders of the Black Panther Party, a group which had been successfully working alongside many others on the left including the SDS. We should also recall just one of the many other reasons why the left might have been feeling paranoid in the 1960s. For instance, the US government gave vital aid to Indonesia’s Suharto dictatorship that upon assuming power in 1965 proceeded to murder hundreds of thousands of “left-wing zealots”!
Having ostensibly established the unhinged nature of left-wing politics, Andersen then draws attention to the far-right conspiracies of the John Birch Society — an organization that had been founded in 1958 and is truly deserving of the unhinged descriptor. Andersen, however, fails to see the connection between the exceptionally paranoid anti-communism of the Birchers and the ingrained anti-communism of liberals like himself, or of the Cold War liberals of the past. It was, after all, the fear of the influence of the Marxist left upon the working-class that had led liberals to lay the groundwork for the McCarthyite excesses that followed. Cold War liberals threw fuel on the fires on conspiracism that were raised to new levels by demagogic groups like the John Birch Society who went on to denounce both Republican and Democratic presidential Cabinets as including “conscious, deliberate, dedicated agent[s] of the Soviet conspiracy”.
Although Andersen states that “Delusional conspiracism wouldn’t spread quite as widely or as deeply on the left,” he remains astounded that “more and more people on both sides would come to believe that an extraordinarily powerful cabal—international organizations and think tanks and big businesses and politicians—secretly ran America.” But what Andersen is describing here is not really a conspiracy at all, it is capitalism at its most effective. An “extraordinarily powerful cabal” – that is, the ruling-class – do run America as best they can, but they definitely don’t do it secretly. Their profit-driven actions only appear to be hatched in secrecy because of the mainstream media’s ongoing failure to accurately report on the exploitation of the global working-class; and much like Andersen, the media continue to downplay or ignore any successful efforts to resist their misrule. Nevertheless, Andersen is correct that “real life made such stories plausible.” And although he primarily faults the far-right for this confusion, he feels compelled to reiterate his critique of the left by stating: “the belief that the federal government had secret plans to open detention camps for dissidents sprouted in the ’70s on the paranoid left before it became a fixture on the right.” Yet this troublesome concern should hardly be surprising, as in 1973 the US government openly backed the rise of the dictatorship in Chile where vast detention camps had been openly employed to devastating effects against democratic activists on the left. (Here a powerful early film that warned against the potential persecution of left-wing activists in America was the 1971 mockumentary Punishment Park.)
Ruling Class Delusions
Of course, in spite of his disdain with the so-called irrationality of the majority of citizens, who, as he puts it inhabit a “post-factual America,” Andersen repeats again (with little emphasis) that elite forces in society have nurtured America’s interest in conspiracies. Specifically, he draws attention to the international best-selling book Chariots of the Gods? which was written by the “convicted thief and embezzler” Erich Von Däniken – a book that describes how extraterrestrials apparently seeded life on Earth. Andersen then explains how the subsequent spin-off documentary “had a huge box-office take in 1970” and was only topped when NBC “aired an hour-long version of the documentary in prime time.” This was all part and parcel of the disempowering media milieu that titillated both the liberal left and the far-right but was categorically rebuked as a dangerous distraction by the socialist left. As always, the upper-class strata within society, whether they be in the corporate world or at the top of the CIA, were particularly enamoured by such irrationalities, and “In the ’70s, the CIA and Army intelligence set up their infamous Project Star Gate to see whether they could conduct espionage by means of ESP.”
The persistence of grand delusions and magical thinking within ruling elites is of course nothing new, and in many ways such fantasies have been a mainstay of American history. But amongst the broader public a good case can be made that the flight to fantasy tends to ebb and flow depending upon the tempo of working-class struggles. During times of vigorous and successful grassroots organizing one might expect to observe a decline in supernatural thinking, while during periods of intense repression and political defeat the intrigues boosted by the “fantasy-industrial complex” are able to rise to the fore. These problems are further exacerbated by a corporate media environment that serves to confuse and befuddle the public, all the better to allow corporate elites and their shareholders to profit from our hard labour. Thus, the same mainstream media that is so intent on ridiculing socialists, alternatively places the gurus of mumbo jumbo on a golden pedestal. From this position they are able to make immense profits, both for themselves and the mainstream press, and confuse the public to boot!
Mr. Benjamin's Suitcase of Secrets Hardcover – May 2, 2017
by Pei-Yu Chang (Author)
What's in his suitcase?
Mr. Benjamin is a philosopher with extraordinary ideas. But when his country begins punishing people for being different, he must escape. Over hills and valleys he trudges with a heavy suitcase. What could he be carrying?
A compelling story, beautifully illustrated by Pei-Yu Chang, about the importance of personal freedom and the distances we go to protect them—based on a true story of Walter Benjamin.
'Cultural Marxism': a uniting theory for rightwingers who love to play the victim
‘Anders Breivik killed young social democrats because he believed that their party was involved in a cultural marxist plot to undermine traditional European values by means of mass immigration from the Islamic world.’
Sunday 18 January 2015 19.48 EST Last modified on Thursday 9 February 2017 04.46 EST
What do the Australian’s columnist Nick Cater, video game hate group #Gamergate, Norwegian mass shooter Anders Breivik and random blokes on YouTube have in common? Apart from anything else, they have all invoked the spectre of “cultural Marxism” to account for things they disapprove of – things like Islamic immigrant communities, feminism and, er, opposition leader Bill Shorten.
What are they talking about? The tale varies in the telling, but the theory of cultural Marxism is integral to the fantasy life of the contemporary right. It depends on a crazy-mirror history, which glancingly reflects things that really happened, only to distort them in the most bizarre ways.
It begins in the 1910s and 1920s. When the socialist revolution failed to materialise beyond the Soviet Union, Marxist thinkers like Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs tried to explain why. Their answer was that culture and religion blunted the proletariat’s desire to revolt, and the solution was that Marxists should carry out a “long march through the institutions” – universities and schools, government bureaucracies and the media – so that cultural values could be progressively changed from above.
Adapting this, later thinkers of the Frankfurt School decided that the key to destroying capitalism was to mix up Marx with a bit of Freud, since workers were not only economically oppressed, but made orderly by sexual repression and other social conventions. The problem was not only capitalism as an economic system, but the family, gender hierarchies, normal sexuality – in short, the whole suite of traditional western values.
The conspiracy theorists claim that these “cultural Marxists” began to use insidious forms of psychological manipulation to upend the west. Then, when Nazism forced the (mostly Jewish) members of the Frankfurt School to move to America, they had, the story goes, a chance to undermine the culture and values that had sustained the world’s most powerful capitalist nation.
The vogue for the ideas of theorists like Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno in the 1960s counterculture culminated with their acolytes’ occupation of the commanding heights of the most important cultural institutions, from universities to Hollywood studios. There, the conspiracy says, they promoted and even enforced ideas which were intended to destroy traditional Christian values and overthrow free enterprise: feminism, multiculturalism, gay rights and atheism. And this, apparently, is where political correctness came from. I promise you: this is what they really think.
The whole story is transparently barmy. If humanities faculties are really geared to brainwashing students into accepting the postulates of far-left ideology, the composition of western parliaments and presidencies and the roaring success of corporate capitalism suggests they’re doing an astoundingly bad job. Anyone who takes a cool look at the last three decades of politics will think it bizarre that anyone could interpret what’s happened as the triumph of an all-powerful left.
The theory of cultural Marxism is also blatantly antisemitic, drawing on the idea of Jews as a fifth column bringing down western civilisation from within, a racist trope that has a longer history than Marxism. Like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the theory was fabricated to order, for a special purpose: the institution and perpetuation of culture war. We can even nominate an author for this lunacy: William S Lind, a polymath of the American hard right, who sought to put rightwing activism on a new footing as the cold war drew to a close.
In the late 1980s, Lind wrote a couple of monographs arguing that there was an emerging mainstream political consensus on free-market economics (due in part to the “disarray” of the traditional social-democratic left), but that many Americans across the political spectrum were dismayed by the decline in traditional values, the family and middle-class life. If conflict with the left could be shifted to the ground of culture, there was a chance of binding the right and even claiming some socially conservative voters who had traditionally voted for the Democrats.
When the Berlin Wall fell, it was time for Lind’s strategy of “cultural conservatism” to become a central strategy for US Republicans: it identified a new kind of social enemy for the right to mobilise against. The changing parameters of economic debate and the beginning of American decline demanded that conservatives embrace a politics “centred more, not less, on cultural issues” – the family, education, crime and morality. The fairytale of cultural Marxism provided a post-communist adversary located specifically in the cultural realm – academics, Hollywood, journalists, civil rights activists and feminists. It has been a mainstay of conservative activism and rhetoric ever since.
While Lind has recently become a more marginal figure, his story of cultural Marxism has proved durable and useful across the spectrum of right-wing thought because it offers so much.
It allows those smarting from a loss of privilege to be offered the shroud of victimhood, by pointing to a shadowy, omnipresent, quasi-foreign elite who are attempting to destroy all that is good in the world. It offers an explanation for the decline of families, small towns, patriarchal authority, and unchallenged white power: a vast, century-long left wing conspiracy. And it distracts from the most important factor in these changes: capitalism, which demands mobility, whose crises have eroded living standards, and which thus, among other things, undermines the viability of conventional family structures and the traditional lifestyles that conservatives approve of.
The story of cultural Marxism is also flexible and can be tailored to fit with the obsessions of a range of right-wing actors. As such, it’s one example of an idea from the extremes which has been mobilised by more mainstream figures and has dragged politics as a whole a little further right.
Anders Breivik killed young social democrats because he believed that their party was involved in a cultural Marxist plot to undermine traditional European values by means of mass immigration from the Islamic world. Prominent voices in the #Gamergate movement have invoked it to warn of what is really motivating the feminist and queer critics of game aesthetics and culture – a desire to purge the culture of “proper” masculine values. It can even chime with Cater’s dreary, pedestrian moaning about how a “graduate class” seeks to remodel authentic, “egalitarian” Australian culture.
The idea of a cultural Marxist conspiracy has also endured because, in the absence of a genuine clash of ideas about the way the economy should be run, it provides an animating idea for the political contest. For Cater to claim that Bill Shorten is a Marxist of any kind is laughable precisely because to the extent that the opposition leader is explicitly offering anything, it’s plainly just a slightly more cushioned version of the same underlying economic orthodoxy embraced by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. Until that changes, the right will always be able to offer their story of victimhood and conspiracy with some hope of success.
The Racist Right Looks Left
At Richard Spencer’s secret conference, white supremacists denounce corporate capitalism.
By Donna Minkowitz DECEMBER 8, 2017
Richard Spencer speaks at the Texas A&M University campus on December 6, 2016.
On the way to Richard Spencer’s top-secret white-supremacist conference on November 19, a young African-American woman drove me in her Uber from Washington, DC, to the rolling hills of Maryland horse country. On the peaceful drive past large, beautiful estates, she told me how she’d had to work three jobs—as a DHL courier, Amazon-warehouse deliverywoman, and Uber driver—just to continue to live in ever-more-expensive DC, where she’d grown up. When we finally got to the winery that Spencer’s National Policy Institute had booked, Mike Enoch of the Daily Shoah podcast, who promulgated the slur “dindu nuffins” for African Americans, was holding forth on the horrors of “corporate neoliberalism.”
Then Eli Mosley of the campus group Identity Evropa, who calls Jews “oven-dodging…kikes,” took Enoch one further: “We need to be explicitly anti-capitalist. There’s no other way forward for our movement.” As 60 mostly young, male racists gathered around him, Mosley, whose real name is Elliott Kline, confidently predicted, “Twenty eighteen is going to be the year of leftists joining the white-nationalist movement!”
These were clear examples of the alt-right’s seductive, and highly contradictory, new emphasis on economic issues. Fascism has often incorporated a pretense of holding “socialist” positions, but some members of the alt-right seem to genuinely believe that the racist state they’re fighting for will benefit what one recently called “the proletariat.” That same afternoon, in an interview in the winery’s unheated barn, Spencer said, “I support national health care. Becoming alt-right means…we have duties to our fellow [white] people. And the trillions spent in insane wars, I would much rather spend that on something that is immediately useful to whites.” About the concept of a guaranteed minimum income provided by the government, Spencer told me, “I actually really like this idea.” In the whites-only, Jews-out, no-votes-for-women ethnostate that he is trying to create, Spencer said, “We need to have a kind of altruism. We need to be willing to take care of people and not simply think of ourselves as individuals who can acquire as much wealth as possible.”
A few minutes later, Spencer’s co-panelists told the gathering exactly who “the capitalists” and “the corporations” were who were hurting “the people”: “Jewish interests,” Enoch, whose real surname is actually Peinovich, enunciated deliberately. “This cosmopolitan clique of elites!” he boomed, as Spencer giggled. “The left will not…name the people behind this…but we can!” he went on. “We can…speak for white Americans who don’t want to sacrifice any more of their children for Jewish wars!”
Yes, the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Trump’s bombing of Syria, had become “Jewish” wars to the white people in the barn, some of them veterans. To Enoch/Peinovich, it seemed that any unnecessary, unjust, or imperialist war had been secretly started by the Jews.
“This rootless! cosmopolitan! clique!” Peinovich vociferated, as Spencer nodded vigorously and laughed. On Twitter and his podcasts, Peinovich frequently exhibits a sadistic streak when he goes after individual women, Jews, and people of color. On one podcast, he attacked criticisms of rape as “this bullshit fantasy of the media, academic elite.… It’s been done, it’s what happens.… Whatever.” But here, in addition to his usual violent bombast, Peinovich spoke with what appeared to be real passion about the enormous misery that George W. Bush’s wars had wrought. His voice quaking, the bearded founder of the white-nationalist blog The Right Stuff said, “I’m against these wars, which…are not [in] our interests.” Kline, an Army veteran, added, “You want to know why there’s so much PTSD, drug abuse, suicide…among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Because they come back and they don’t know why. ‘Why were we there, what did I do, why did my friends die?’ The answer is no more of these wars!” Then Kline screeched, “Jewish wars!”
These were clear examples of the alt-right’s seductive, and highly contradictory, new emphasis on economic issues.
The evolution of the goons continues.
Spencer and his nutbaggery is one of Globalism's best friends.
Grandpa Lampshade: White People Should Hope For A Right-Wing Authoritarian Government
On yesterday’s episode of his Thoughts of the Day podcast, the pseudonymous Grandpa Lampshade predicted that Western countries will soon be ruled by authoritarian governments, whether we like it or not.
Commentary on the Concept of Enlightenment
Spenser Rapone | Social Movement Studies | Theory | December 21st, 2017
Despite years of supposed progress, both technological and social, we remain slaves to capital, subjected to a dull, daily routine within a prescribed division of labor. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenmentoutlines how the desire to "enlighten" human beings merely reproduced domination and oppression, leading to our current alienated state. Contextualizing their work specifically, its dour tone of course reflects that of its publication in 1947; nonetheless, I insist that it remains relevant, given the political precipice we currently find ourselves. Regarding the first chapter, of which I examine in this piece, the authors aspire to turn enlightenment on its head, conceptualizing a critical enlightenment that rejects absolute power and domination.  Of course, enlightenment remains a rather nebulous concept. To be enlightened, at face value, seems to conjure up an image of self-actualized thought. The Enlightenment, as we know it from the eighteenth through nineteenth centuries, sought the progress of our collective human existence. Yet, at what cost do we seek progress? Herein lies Horkheimer's and Adorno's focus. While enlightenment sought to assert the human race as masters of our domain, by the 1940s, "the wholly enlightened earth [was] radiant with triumphant calamity." Specifically, the 20th century had brought about two devastating world wars, the rise of fascism, and widespread destitution and alienation. How did the desire for an enlightened human race produce such barbarism?
Adorno and Horkheimer's work demonstrates how the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, et al. were in many ways the logical conclusion of enlightenment thought. They did not exist as an aberration, but were in the spirit of other oppressive enlightenment figures and regimes (when one takes into account the genocidal impulses of the British Empire in India, or the same of the United States with regards to indigenous peoples, this picture becomes much more clear). Francis Bacon's edict of "knowledge is power" is far more than a pithy musing; Horkheimer and Adorno insist that when it comes to knowledge and power, the two are synonymous, within the Baconian framework.  Thus, enlightenment did not seek out knowledge for the sake of knowledge; knowledge was only useful insofar as its utility in the pursuit of power. In other words, knowledge became the object of instrumental reason; that is, knowledge was used to achieve a certain end, in this case, power.  Resultantly, knowledge itself existed as a crude, empirical framework to arrange, observe, and dominate objects; inevitably, this process further entrenched the capitalist mode of production.  Yet, the enlightenment's regressive tendencies under the guise of human progress, did not appear out of thin air; it traces its lineage to and draws from the various mythologies of the western canon.
More than anything else, I seek to emphasize that both Horkheimer and Adorno wrote Dialectic of Enlightenment as a warning against the cult of "progress." In other words, we ought to see to it that in the process of liberating ourselves from the shackles of our miserable existence, we do not lose sight of what it means to truly carry out an emancipatory movement. Enlightenment merely perpetuated myth under a veneer of scientism and technocratic impulses, existing as manipulator of things as dictator exists as manipulator of human beings.  Enlightenment was not a movement in the spirit of liberty, but in the spirit of control, domination, and sovereignty. I claim that the most critical line of this opening chapter lies in the assertion that "a true praxis capable of overturning the status quo depends on theory's refusal to yield to the oblivion in which society allows thought to ossify."  An authentic emancipatory movement must not fall prey to instrumental reason; revolutionary thought must both liberate but also recognize the inherent value of thought itself.