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A Conference of the "National Anarchists"

category international | anti-fascism | opinion / analysis author Donnerstag Juli 13, 2017 10:23author by Wayne Priceauthor email drwdprice at aol dot com Report this post to the editors

The fascists who call themselves "anarchists"

A libertarian Marxist friend sent me a reference to a report on an international gathering of “National Anarchists.” It appeared in Keith Preston’s site, “Attack the System,” at https://attackthesystem.com/2017/07/10/national-anarchi...47073

This is my response.

You ask who these people are, sending me an account of an international gathering of the “National Anarchist Movement” in Spain this year. The short answer is that they are fascists, and no more “anarchist” than the National Socialists were “socialist.” However, they deny being fascist, and the article repeatedly says that they are not fascist, let alone Nazi. The article is written by one Keith Preston, who has claimed to be trying to pull together left and right libertarianism, anarchist-communism and national-anarchism.

The Nazis denounced capitalism and big business (especially their “left wing” which stupidly believed this rhetoric, until Hitler got into power and had “left Nazis” killed). So these pseudo-anarchists denounce the state, the international capitalist ruling class, imperialism, and the dangerous misuse of technology by capitalism. Preston summarizes, “much of what was said was highly relevant to the ideas of the libertarian-left and the libertarian-right alike, as well as those affiliated with anti-globalization, environmental, anti-imperialist, indigenous, anti-state, and anti-corporate movements generally.”

The NA propose replacing the centralized state and mass society by more-or-less autonomous communities. The communities will form themselves on whatever basis they want, but (surprise!) the NA suggest forming them on the basis of “ethnicity.” “The overwhelming, incontrovertible, widespread return of a series of racial issues is undeniable,… National-anarchist communities can be the positive answer to the problem. …In this context, I would like to focus on ethnicity.” They reject internationalism or “universalism.” Hence the term “National” Anarchists.

The underlying assumptions show through the anarchist rhetoric. One speaker “integrated not only the pro-national and pro-ethnic standpoints of the Right into his Weltanschauung,” but also methods of psychotherapy from the Left (not quite equivalent), This person (Peter Topfer) decided “that there is no good humanism.” Apparently, “humanism…merely becomes a weapon of Jewish ethnocentrism and supremacy.” He thinks that “while Islamism is a threat…Jewish ethnocentrism…exercises a much greater influence.” Another speaker “synthesized the ideas of Otto Strasser with those of Murray Bookchin.” Strasser was a Nazi.

Another speaker pointed out that liberal capitalist democratic states are the most common and most accepted right now. Therefore National Anarchists should not focus on defending the democratic rights of the people, but “the anarchist struggle in the twenty-first century is essentially a struggle against liberal parliamentary states.” At no point do these NAs advocate democracy, even of the most radical, direct, participatory, kind.

Sean Jobst gave a talk, “Zionism and Globalism: A Threat to All Communities.” “We can define Zionism as Jewish chauvinistic nationalism…a global threat.” Jobst did quote Bakunin as making an anti-semitic attack on Marx in 1871, referring to “the parasitic Jewish nation.” This says something about Bakunin, as well as Jobst, but not much about either anarchism or the Jews. I won’t go through the full rationalization which is offered. Preston does not criticize either one of the anti-semitic presentations he reports.

From historical experience, we expect fascist “ideology” to be confused, contradictory, and irrational. No doubt many of these “National Anarchists" are sincere muddleheads. They may think that they are not fascists and have convinced themselves that they do not want to oppress people. But this nonsense can only serve to support capitalist statism in its actual practice—as did National Socialism.

I am pretty broad in accepting self-described anarchists as anarchists: primitivists, gradualists, individualists, pro-market (but anti-capitalist) anarchists, etc. I argue that they are mistaken in their ideas and strategy, but not that they aren’t “anarchists.” They mostly share the same goals as revolutionary class-struggle anarchist-socialists, which have been the historical mainstream of the movement. But I draw the line at “anarchist-capitalists” (right “libertarians” who oppose the state but support capitalism). They are not anarchists if they accept capitalism. Similarly people are not anarchists if they accept racism, anti-semitism, and nationalism, even if they pretend not to be fascists.

author by Alternativa Libertaria/FdCA - Ufficio Relazioni Internazionalipublication date Sa Aug 05, 2017 23:00Report this post to the editors

Convegno dei "Nazional Anarchici"

Fascisti che si autodefiniscono "anarchici"

Un amico marxista-libertario mi ha mandato il riferimento ad un report del raduno internazionale dei “Nazional Anarchici.” Si trova sul sito di Keith Preston, “Attack the System,” su https://attackthesystem.com/2017/07/10/national-anarchi...47073

Questa è la mia risposta.

Tu mi chiedi chi sono costoro, inviandomi l'indirizzo di un raduno internazionale del "Movimento Nazional Anarchico" tenutosi in Spagna nel 2017. La mia breve risposta è che si tratta di fascisti, tutt'altro che "anarchici" così come i nazional socialisti non avevano niente di "socialista". Eppure, essi negano di essere fascisti e nell'articolo si ripete continuamente che non sono fascisti, tanto meno nazisti. L'articolo è scritto da un certo Keith Preston, che dice di essere impegnato nel cercare di mettere insieme il libertarianesimo di sinistra con quello di destra, il comunismo-anarchico col nazional-anarchismo.

I Nazisti erano contro il capitalismo ed il grande mondo degli affari (specialmente la loro "corrente di sinistra" che stupidamente credette a questa retorica, finchè Hitler andò al potere e soppresse i "nazisti di sinistra"). Così, questi pseudo-anarchici si dichiarano contro lo Stato, contro la classe capitalista dominante a livello internazionale, contro l'imperialismo e contro il pericoloso abuso di tecnologia da parte del capitalismo. Preston così sintetizza:“molto di quello che si è detto ha notevole rilevanza per le idee della sinistra-libertaria al pari della destra-libertaria, come pure per i movimenti generalmente anti-globalizzazione, ambientalisti, anti-imperialisti, indigeni, anti-statalisti ed anti-corporations.”

I Nazional Anarchici vogliono sostituire lo Stato centralizzato e la società di massa con comunità più o meno autonome. Queste comunità si auto-costituirebbero sulle basi che desiderano, ma (sorpresa!) i Nazional Anarchici suggeriscono di farlo su basi "etniche". Ancora Preston:“Il travolgente, incontrovertibile, ampio ritorno di una serie di tematiche razziali è innegabile,… le comunità nazional anarchiche possono essere la risposta positiva al problema …In questo contesto, ritengo appropriata la scelta etnica.” Costoro respingono l'internazionalismo o l'“universalismo.” Da qui il termine di “Nazional” Anarchici.

L'assunto sottostante si mostra attraverso la retorica anarchica. Dice uno degli intervenuti che ha “integrato non solo i punti di vista pro-nazionali e pro-etnici della Destra nella sua Weltanschauung,” ma anche metodi di psicoterapia propri della Sinistra (non abbastanza equivalenti). Costui (Peter Topfer) ha deciso “che non esiste alcun buon umanesimo.” Ovviamente, “l'umanesimo…non è che un'arma dell'etnocentrismo e della supremazia degli Ebrei.” Egli ritiene che “se l'Islamismo è una minaccia…l'etnocentrismo ebraico…esercita un'influenza maggiore.” Un altro intervenuto dice che ha “fatto la sintesi fra le idee di Otto Strasser e quelle di Murray Bookchin.” Strasser era un nazista.

Un altro degli intervenuti ha messo in evidenza che gli Stati democratico-capitalisti sono oggi la forma più comune e più accettata. Per cui i Nazional Anarchici non dovrebbero impegnarsi nel difendere i diritti democratici delle persone, ma “la lotta anarchica nel 21°secolo è essenzialmente una lotta contro gli Stati liberal-parlamentari.” Questi Nazional Anarchici non fanno mai riferimento alla democrazia, nemmeno alla sua forma più radicale, quella diretta e partecipativa.

Uno dei relatori, Sean Jobst, è intervenuto su “Sionismo e Globalismo: una minaccia per tutte le comunità.” “Possiamo definire il Sionismo come nazionalismo sciovinista ebraico…una minaccia globale.” Jobst cita Bakunin ed il suo attacco anti-semita a Marx nel 1871, riferendosi alla “parassita nazione ebraica.” Il che ha qualcosa a che vedere con Bakunin, come pure con Jobst, ma non ha niente a che vedere con l'anarchismo o con gli Ebrei. Non mi dilungherò sulla piena razionalizzazione di ciò che viene detto nel convegno. Preston non critica nessuna delle presentazioni anti-ebraiche che cita.

Per esperienza storica, ci aspettiamo che l' "ideologia" fascista si presenti confusionaria, contraddittoria ed irrazionale. Senza dubbio, molti di questi "Nazional Anarchici" hanno la testa nel pallone. Loro possono pensare di non essere fascisti e possono anche essersi autoconvinti che non vogliono opprimere nessuno. Ma questo nonsense può solo servire a supportare lo statalismo capitalista nella sua sua attuale prassi—proprio cone fece il Nazionalsocialismo.

Io sono di larghe vedute pronto ad accettare come anarchico chi si autodichiara anarchico: primitivisti, gradualisti, individualisti, anarchici favorevoli al mercato (ma anti-capitalisti), etc. Posso sostenere che questi anarchici si sbagliano come idee e come strategia, ma non direi mai che non sono "anarchici". Infatti essi condividono in gran parte gli stessi scopi che perseguono i socialisti-anarchici rivoluzionari su posizioni di classe, che sono stati la corrente principale del movimento. Però non posso non tirare una linea davanti agli "anarco-capitalisti" (“libertari” di destra che si oppongono allo Stato ma che sostengono il capitalismo). Se accettano il capitalismo, allora non sono anarchici. Allo stesso modo non possono essere anarchici coloro che accettano il razzismo, l'anti-semitismo ed il nazionalismo, anche se fanno finta di non essere fascisti.
Wayne Price
(traduzione a cura di Alternativa Libertaria-Ufficio Relazioni Internazionali)

author by Sean Jobstpublication date Mi Sep 06, 2017 13:19Report this post to the editors

Hello Wayne,

I found your write-up about National Anarchism and the conference, and because I was one of the speakers and attendees at that conference, I feel the need to respond. Your article misrepresents based on your own personal anarcho-communist biases, cherry-picking statements (with copious ellipses) clearly out of context, and ignoring anything contrary to your own bias. What is this bias? Aside from your own Marxist leanings (and how you can reconcile this with Anarchism is beyond me!), you're desperate to portray National Anarchism as "fascist."

"The NA propose replacing the centralized state and mass society by more-or-less autonomous communities. The communities will form themselves on whatever basis they want, but (surprise!) the NA suggest forming them on the basis of 'ethnicity.'"

The quote you cite next is from a speech or section specifically about ethnicity, but you ignore an abundant of other evidence in National-Anarchist sources clearly conceiving of tribes and communities in other forms as well, non-ethnic or non-racial. And what's the problem? The importance is decentralization and non-coercive organization; if one community wants to form on one basis, and another community on an entirely different basis, then what's the problem? National-Anarchists conceive of "tribes" and "communities" in a very broad manner, not reducing them to ethnicity or race like you assume (since it would refute your "fascist" slander).

"They reject internationalism or 'universalism.' Hence the term 'National' Anarchists."

Internationalism IS centralization. The banking system is internationalist; colonialism is internationalist; global capitalist is internationalist.... Do you not reject those things as a matter of principle? If indeed you're anarchist. Universalism has been the means by which the global elites have centralized their own power and wealth at the expense of all peoples, forcing their own ideological, market or other values upon other peoples. Perhaps there is a difference with you, for we National-Anarchists support decentralization and self-determination - and we do so proudly, rejecting the philosophical/metapolitical basis which has facilitated the global system.

"Another speaker 'synthesized the ideas of Otto Strasser with those of Murray Bookchin.' Strasser was a Nazi."

Unlike his brother Gregor, Otto Strasser was NEVER a member of the National Socialist Party. He did work alongside his brother in the northern German branch of the Party, which was diametrically opposed to the Hitler branch of Bavaria. In his newspapers and his various activities, Otto Strasser continuously was at loggerheads with Hitler and sought to undermine Hitler and other reactionaries within that Party. Many of those around Hitler (including many who would later take up powerful positions within the Nazi State) and also his banker and industrialist donors, saw Otto Strasser as a personal and ideological threat. Hitler too, because he was an egotist and madman opportunist who demanded "obedience" and had no ideological principles.

After countless conflicts which are documented in books by Strasser and others, by 1930 Strasser declared open warfare upon not only Hitler but upon the Nazi hierarchy and Party. He had to flee Germany after the Reichstag was burned and as Hitler was taking absolute power, usually staying barely one-step ahead of his Nazi tormenters. The Gestapo carried out numerous assassination attempts against him. He was wanted when France was invaded and occupied, fleeing from France just as the Nazi noose was tightening around him. He remained a wanted man in Nazi Germany, and was blamed and vilified in its propaganda outlets. A perusal of neo-Nazi websites demonstrates how Otto Strasser continues to be reviled, vilified and slandered by them. So given all of these facts, how can you call him a "Nazi"?

It's not just these facts, but a study of Strasser's own ideology which demonstrates just how much of a libel this is. He advocated decentralization and regionalism, at odds with the centralizing policies of Nazism. He opposed the personality-cult of Hitler, and without its "Fuhrerprinzep" there simply is no Nazism (or Fascism, for that matter, since they're a distinguishing feature of both). He condemned the concentration camps (many of his followers and friends being imprisoned in them), and the State's harsh treatment of the Jews. He opposed its racial ideology and its deals with capitalists, bankers and industrialists. He opposed its chauvinism and war-mongering. He opposed its economic and social policies.

"Therefore National Anarchists should not focus on defending the democratic rights of the people, but 'the anarchist struggle in the twenty-first century is essentially a struggle against liberal parliamentary states.' At no point do these NAs advocate democracy, even of the most radical, direct, participatory, kind."

What has been called "democracy" is a farce in the hands of capitalism and the plutocratic political parties, a tool to give the masses an illusion of choice and like these parties are beholden to the masses rather than the ruling elite. It has thus been the absurd fiction by which people are dulled, pacified and rendered harmless and apathetic, whilst the ruling elites continue to centralize their power and wealth at their expense.

But if you mean "democracy" as a means and a method, empowering communities to structure themselves and associate with each other however they want, then we are very much as "democratic" as other Anarchists; honestly, more than those of your Marxist ilk who seem to be very totalitarian and, well, fascistic. Advocating radical decentralism such as we do, we're more "democratic" in spirit than those who advocate only one economic or social structure for everyone, and would want to forbid some tribes and communities from organizing the way they want to.

"Sean Jobst gave a talk, 'Zionism and Globalism: A Threat to All Communities.' 'We can define Zionism as Jewish chauvinistic nationalism…a global threat.' Jobst did quote Bakunin as making an anti-semitic attack on Marx in 1871, referring to 'the parasitic Jewish nation.' This says something about Bakunin, as well as Jobst, but not much about either anarchism or the Jews. I won’t go through the full rationalization which is offered."

Not only don't you not go through "the full rationalization", but you conveniently ignore the entire context of my speech. My hour-long speech wasn't merely my assertions, but was well-documented, with about fifty sources backing up what I said. My style is to back-up what I say with sources, as you can see from my various articles. Yours' is neither the first nor last to attack based not on the issues, but cherry-picking based on your own preconceived notions.

How else do you define Zionism? You oppose various nationalisms and fascisms, having no problem calling out such chauvinisms. But somehow the Jewish chauvinist variety is off-limits? That's basically the gist of your argument, and why you find such outrage at my speech. The parts you cite was immediately after an indictment of the global banking system, in which I documented links of certain international bankers with Israel and Zionist causes. I have my speech, so could send you those parts complete with the sources.

Or perhaps its because I favorably cited Bakunin's opposition to your beloved Marx, so there's an ideological reason for your outrage. I make no qualms about it: I oppose Marx and his modern-day adherents, especially those who couch themselves as "anarchists" even while he advocated State centralization, used rhetoric of the workers merely as a rhetorical device to bring bureaucrats like himself to power, had very suspicious and questionable financial links, and supported usury and banking in principle.

Of course my citing that quote doesn't "say much about anarchism or the Jews" - because you cherry-picked it. My speech was interspersed with several anarchist observations. As for Jews, my entire speech is filled with various aspects of that ideology of chauvinistic Jewish nationalism (not Jews per se) called Zionism. Again, I would be more than happy to send you the notes from that speech complete with the sources, so you can properly know the context before writing up such sloppy libel.

~ Sean Jobst

author by Waynepublication date Do Sep 07, 2017 06:28Report this post to the editors

I do not usually respond to fascists or anti-semites, and Anarkismo does not usually publish their comments. But in this case there may be some clinical use to exposing the pathology to sunlight and making some comments.

First, about myself: I am an anarchist. I object to Bakunin’s anti-semitic attacks on Marx not because they were against Marx but because they were anti-semitic. I should add that I am a humanistic, secular, Jew, who is anti-Zionist.

Sean Jobst denies that he is a fascist or someone who hates all Jews. He appears to identify with Otto Strasser who he denies was a Nazi (Jobst spends three paragraphs on this). Apparently Strasser was not a card-carrying Nazi Party member, but, Jobst writes, “He did work alongside his brother [a Party member-WP] in the northern German branch of the Party. “ (This was before Hitler turned on the deluded “left-wing” of the Party, including the Strasser brothers.) Jobst is “not a fascist” in the same sense as Otto Strasser was “not a Nazi.”

The main issue, I think, is the distinction between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism. This is muddled because anti-semites these days claim to be only anti-Zionists, while supporters of Zionism often accuse anyone who is even mildly critical of Israel (let alone anti-Zionist) of being anti-semitic. A left-wing anti-Zionist regards the state of Israel as a sub-imperialist, a junior partner of U.S. imperialism, and a power in its region. It directly oppresses and dominates Palestinians and other Arab people in its region. But fascist anti-semites regard Israel as one of the major powers of the world, one of the central imperialist forces, part of the world rulers. That is, they fit it into the historical fantasy of an "international Jewish conspiracy." Similarly, left anti-Zionists regard Israel as having an influential and effective lobby in U.S. politics, which powerfully advances its interests. But we believe that the U.S. ruling class allows them to do this because overall Israel serves the political and economic interests of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. On the other hand, anti-semites see Zionist forces as dominating U.S. politics, to the disadvantage of the U.S. (We anti-Zionists believe that Zionism does not serve the interests of the U.S. working population but it does serve those of the corporate rich.)

If readers wish, they may go back to the original report of Jobst’s speech by Preston (at the top of this column). This makes clear that Jobst and the other “National Anarchist” speakers approached Zionism from a fascist anti-semitic viewpoint, not that of anti-imperialist anti-Zionism.

author by Waynepublication date Fr Sep 15, 2017 08:24Report this post to the editors

Keith Preston wrote the original report on the international “National Anarchist” gathering. He has written “A Reply to Wayne Price,” which can be found at https://attackthesystem.com/2017/09/08/a-conference-of-...rice/

Without responding to all of his points, I will make a couple of comments. I had pointed out that “Preston does not criticize…[the] anti-semitic presentations he reports.” He does not deny this, but says he was only reporting and not criticizing. For himself, “I have encountered people in the N-A milieu that I thought overemphasized the anti-Zionist/Jewish power line….” These are pathetic excuses. Consider that anti-semitism led to the Holocaust, that the anti-semitism of the Nazis is being used as an excuse for modern-day Zionism, and that some of the speakers identified with Nazis. Therefore, to just “report” on anti-semitic perspectives and say that there are NAs who have “overemphasized” anti-“Jewish power” material—is a colossal moral failure. It is not that Preston is necessarily a fascist anti-semite. But he does not care if others are fascist anti-semites. It does not bother him if co-thinkers “overemphasize” anti-semitism. This is beneath contempt.

Preston uses the “you’re another” argument. There are, he points out, other authoritarian trends among anarchists , including capitulation to Marxist-Leninist approaches. This is true, and I (and my friends) have a history of opposing such authoritarian trends in anarchism. But this is irrelevant to the immediate topic, which is Preston’s capitulation to fascist anti-semitic trends which claim to be anarchist. (His website is full of ads for National Anarchist journals and literature.)

He goes on to make personal attacks on me. He claims that I believe that “anarchists are fine as long as they are good Marxists at heart.… It is not surprising that a former Trotskyist and comrade of anarchist-cum-Maoist Christopher Gunderson would be taking such a line.” This is followed by a reprint of an essay by Preston which grossly distorts my political history. For my actual views, see “What is an Anarchist? Am I an Anarchist?” at
https://www.anarkismo.net/article 30259&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment16530

But, again, this is irrelevant. Whatever my possible errors or those of other anarchists, this does not justify so-called anarchists who are fascists and anti-semites, nor Preston’s toleration of them.

 
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