CRACK IN THE FACADE: HOW SPLITS IN THE WHITE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT CAN HELP ANTI-FASCISTSFEBRUARY 6, 2016
For anyone who has been on the ideological radical left, especially in Marxist or anarchist organizations, they know exactly what it is like to get caught up in petty disagreements and insular political arguments. It is what has led to the trend towards “splitting” in communist organizations, and what keeps many of these politically centered parties and groups from growing beyond a couple hundred members. Much of this has led to high profile infighting, where disagreements that are unintelligible to those outside an ideological cadre are unable to even understand what the two parties are so passionate about.
For those organizing against institutions of capital and the state, there is certainly a need to create strong bonds on points of agreement and to save disagreements over tactics and strategy to internal discussions. The primary reason for this is that the opposition looks for points of weakness, cracks in our structure that they can exploit to weaken us in critical ways. This “divide and conquer” strategy has been primary to the way that bosses weaken labor battles, landlords destroy tenant unity, and how the ruling class generally fractures any kind of working-class identity that is needed to combat forces that have the money and the state-supported power.
On the flip side, those on the reactionary edges of white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, and other parts of an intersectional neo-fascist movement, are also subject to the same forces. In the recent years many of these voices have rebranded and adapted to a new generation of white nationalists who are coming from middle-class, tech-friendly jobs and families. There has been a great call for unity that was often impossible in the earlier days of the KKK or neo-Nazi skinheads, all of which were subject to tribal gang fights over non-political issues. This new core has intellectual backgrounds and are using philosophy and pseudo-science as the foundation of a new nationalism, and by keeping strategy and tactics vague they have been able to create bonds that were less easy to break.
Yet, as is always the case on the far right, their egos remain unchecked and, eventually, they do begin to crack. It is at these points that anti-fascists can exploit these breaks in solidarity between them, and find ways to weaken and destroy their movements by isolating them from each other. Over the last couple years it has been easy to see where the points of contention between these people are since they are often along the lines of those who have developed a following.
When thinking about where the fractures are in the Alt Right, one person comes up as a point of rupture: Richard Spencer. Spencer is known for coining the term Alternative Right from his former webzine, which was created to bring together different dissident reactionary forces that were coming together around 2010. He has eventually helped to bring together a vague collection of white nationalists, post-libertarians, traditionalists, Men’s Rights dissidents, identitarians, racial pagans, and others, into a general new white nationalism.
He also popularized podcasts as being a primary way to outreach to the rest of the movement since reading is not always their strong suit. Vanguard Radio was his first attempt at this, starting by interviewing people like the American Freedom Party’s Merlin Miller, Youth for Western Civilization’s Kevin Deanna, and techno-futurist and neo-reactionary Rachel Haywire. He also brought on fellow racists Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki to co-host a rambling version of the podcast. Both of them had been contributors, and later editors, at Alternative Right. At one point Spencer decided to leave Alternative Right as an editor, yet he continued the podcast and blogging at the website. Andy and Colin stepped up as the primary editors, and when Spencer told them in private that he kind of wanted the website to come down so he could move on, they insisted that it stay. After an incident happened with Jason Richwine, the Rachel Maddow Show at MSNBC did a story about Alternative Right and the National Policy Institute, which Spencer had taken over at this time. Here they identified a story by Colin Liddell where he essentially denies the Holocaust and mocks the Jews who died. He did not like being associated with this since he did not have any editorial control over what was published. On Christmas Day of 2013 he took down Alternative Right and made the URL link to his new web magazine, Radix Journal.
Andy and Colin were understandably enraged, and Colin went on social media rants calling Spencer a “Dick-tator.” They reformed a new website called the “New Alternative Right,” and started their own podcast. In one early episode dedicated to Spencer’s decision, Colin spoke about Spencer’s behavior and penchant for talking over his guests.
In 2014 Spencer tried to have a “pan-European” conference in Budapest, Hungary. This was going to bring white nationalists from around Europe, America, and Russia to come together and talk about “European unity.” The docket was to include people like Alexander Dugin and Jared Taylor. The Hungarian government, under pressure from the socialist party, declared that the conference would not happen, moving all the way up to the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. Spencer decided he would not listen to the government’s order and would go anyway, even though the government canceled their hotel bookings. At a private dinner of conference attendees, the police showed up and arrested Spencer. They deported him, banning him from European nations. The conference ended up just happening in private at the dinner location, with Tomislav Sunic and Jared Taylor as its only speakers.
It was this situation that actually mended the relationship between Liddell and Nowicki with Spencer. He went on their podcast shortly there after, and even though Liddell used this opportunity to talk over Spencer and throw insulting jokes at him, it seemed as though they would make it through. Liddell ended up going on Spencer’s new podcast, the Radix Journal Podcast, several times to talk about the Scottish Independence vote and on a series they did on James Bond.
The situation in Hungary did, however, stoke problems that were forming between Greg Johnson and Richard Spencer. Johnson is the founder and editor of Counter-Currents Publishing, which publishes a lot of racist and traditionalist books by people like Savitri Devi and Jonathan Bowden. They are known for their blog and pocast, which attempts to be even more high brown than Radix while also being more offensively racist. When Spencer still called for people to fly into Hungary even though hotels were being canceled by the state and they were having calls for deportation, Johnson became incensed. He took to Twitter to insult Spencer and state that he owes all conference attendees a “complete refund.” He went on to make insulting comments about Spencer’s wife, saying he was controlled by her and referring to her as “Nina Nogoodnick.” This stopped the growing relationship between the two flat. Spencer had recently had him on several podcasts to discuss movies and Johnson had hosted Spencer discussing what had happened with the shut down of Alternative Right. The irony here was that Johnson went on, at length, about how this type of public infighting is just useless and antithetical to their cause. Their relationship was never really patched up, and they were both known to make passive jokes about each other in interviews and podcasts. They were eventually both on a round table podcast at Red Ice Radio with RamZPaul, John Morgan of Arktos Publishing, and Daniel Frieberg. The discussion moved to the debate over pan-European unity versus regional European nationalism. Spencer is known for calling for a new “white empire” that gets over “petty nationalisms.” Johnson discussed the importance of having these regional states, telling Spencer that “reality had vetoed his dream.” They got incredibly heated insulting one another while the host desperately tried to get things on track.
These differences and arguments seem silly to us, and they are. Yet to the neo-fascists who are trying to move from their basements and into the political sphere, they are incredibly meaningful. In knowing where their fractures are we can begin to develop a strategy that plays on this as a weakness. Greg Johnson and Richard Spencer are both “intellectual” leaders of the Alt Right, and their strong personalities have the ability both to create leadership and to turn their followers off. To confront this we can find ways to further split their connections apart by highlighting the differences between them, and trying to stoke their infighting into public displays of disunity. What if, when shutting down one of their events, anti-fascists also go onto internal forums and place blame on other parties? This can have the effect of shrinking any cadre that they have with a common purpose, which also diminishes its effectiveness.
By highlighting their splits we can also help to communicate to those who may see them as an attractive dissenting force, show that they actually lack any ideological clarity or ability to force political programs. They are ineffective as organizing agents, which is clear since they rarely have any organizational plans, but if we continue to exploit their fragments we can show them for the impotent forces that they are. Using messaging on our end that not only confronts the bigots directly, but also creates dissent and infighting in their ranks can be an effective tool for destroying their mobilization.
Infighting around Richard Spencer has been happening for well over a year now beyond just the skirmishes mentioned. His dismissal of Orthodox Christianity has made him persona non grata in some of the more neo-Confederate, Kinist, and religious communities associated with the Traditionalist Youth Network, the League of the South, and others. He recently banned Trad Youth’s Matthew Heimbach for his recent comments about same-sex relationships where he claimed that queer people are intentionally spreading HIV. This brought offense to the NPI participants, one of which is the “andriophile” Jack Donovan.
By highlighting their own infighting we can continue to show their weak points, disable their ability to create compelling narrative or fronts, and maintain their position on the fringes. Part of this is allowing them to walk themselves into corners, which they often do through their own bizarre political ideas and their ability to attract those with political egos. In the case of Heimbach, we can continue to highlight his homophobia in an effort to not only alert the public to his disgusting ideas, but also to call the attention his fellow fascists. The more they clash internally, the weaker they will be. For anti-fascist organizing, this is always going to weaken the opposition and make those white nationalists that do creep up even easier to marginalize.
Occidental Dissent, another one of the more offensive racist websites, actually has publicized these arguments between bigots. In a post from 2014 they outlined a big list of “who hates who.” Though it is a little old, it seems to be more or less accurate even today.
Get your popcorn.
Check out this partial list of ongoing current beefs:Greg Johnson vs. Daily Stormer
Greg Johnson vs. Richard Spencer
Alternative Right vs. Daily Stormer
Alex Linder vs. Jared Taylor
Alex Linder vs. Greg Johnson
Ramzpaul vs. Robert Ransdell
Daily Stormer vs. Ramzpaul
Greg Johnson vs. Matt Parrott
Bob Whitaker vs. Stormfront
Alex Linder vs. Bob Whitaker
Sebastian Ronin vs. Countless People
My Picks For Most Intense Beef
Hadding vs. Harold Covington
Will Williams vs. Harold Covington
Axis Sally vs. Harold Covington
Their movement is based entirely on the subjugation and oppression of “the other,” a notion that drives their ideological core. They do not have the same foundation in thought and ideas you see in the radical left opposition, which makes it even easier to unravel when put under a magnifying glass. At times, the ludicrous nature of their own racism will do it on its own. The coup attempt in Leith, North Dakota a couple of years ago lays out a clear exampele of this. Craig Cobb, a well known fringe neo-Nazi even by their own standards, began buying up property for next to nothing in a remote North Dakotan town. Leith had a population of 26 people, and his plan was to overrun the town with fellow neo-Nazis so as to take control of the Town Council. He deeded property over to members of the National Socialist Movement and former White Aryan Resistance organizer, Tom Metzger. The town put up an incredible show of counter-organizing, with great support from local First Nations tribal leaders and anti-racists. A confrontation was put forward to Cobb to do a DNA test that would prove his racial ancestry. He accepted this challenge, and when it came back proving that he was 14% Sub-Saharan African he saw a great deal of his support dry up. This came from the internal contradictions inside of his Creativity Movement, which is the most militant side of the white nationalist movement demanding racial purity. In reality, almost no person appearing white has only European genetic ancestry, so it is literally a contest that they cannot win. By leaving themselves open it provided anti-racists an opportunity to confront them, not only to dismiss their message publicly, but to create a backlash internally as his fellow skinhead supporters began demanding him out of his own white community.
Because we do not want to ever provide them a platform, and because we organize to defend our communities from them, we often do not have the resources to attempt to exploit these cracks in their ranks. With their influx of public media and loud voices we now have more information about high-profile racists than ever before, which means that we can integrate these strategies into our more general messaging.
Let’s continue to show the world who these people are and the fallacies that their calls for “white revolution” depend on!