National anarchism

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Automatons led by a lunatic
Charlie Chaplin imitator

Nazism

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First as tragedy
Then as farce
National anarchism is a political movement which advocates replacing the state and capitalism with small-scale stateless societies as the most effective means of ensuring racial separatism and other aims of fascism. Supporters claim that national anarchism is neither left nor right but is rather a syncretic movement that is ‘beyond left and right’.[1] (Compare Third positionism.) Nevertheless, as national anarchism has developed out of post-war European fascism, most scholars consider it to be a far-right movement.[2][3][4]

National anarchism has been met with hostility from other anti-capitalist anarchists. One eco-anarchist magazine implored its readers to treat national anarchists ‘as if they were Klan members or Nazis.’[5] This hostility has developed due to the racism inherent in national anarchist ideology and their stated tactic of siphoning off members of left groups.

TL;DR? It's for neo-Nazis who don't like central governments.

This is what national anarchists actually believe[edit]

Leading national anarchist and founder of the movement Troy Southgate has stated that national anarchists seek ‘political, economic and social decentralisation right down to the smallest possible unit’. [6] National anarchists would replace the state with ‘local, autonomous village communities’.[6] In the national anarchist vision these village communities would be run based on co-operation not conflict. Decision making would be communal. There would be wide ownership of the means of production. The economies of these communities would ecologically and economically sustainable.[7]

National anarchists believe that humans should live life as ‘organically’ as possible, according to an ill-defined ‘Natural Order’.[4][8] This belief in ‘natural living’ underpins all national anarchist thought. In their own conception they are ‘in revolt against the modern world’.[4] The Industrial Revolution is seen as one of the greatest catastrophes in human history.[9] They believe that it put humanity on a course of moral and environmental decline at odds with their idea of ‘natural living’ due to the urbanisation it spawned. In national anarchist literature the superiority of rural over urban living is always stressed.[4]

Capitalism is seen as moving man away from the ‘Natural Order’. This is because it spawns further industrialization, leading to greater urbanisation and globalisation. With these come gender egalitarianism, homosexuality and race-mixing, all of which are seen as against ‘natural living’. Materialism, consumerism and classism also thrive in this system.[6]

National anarchists do not look to Marxism for any sort of solution in part because it spawned further industrialization and urbanization where it was put into practice.[10] Instead they look to stateless, tribal societies for answers, albeit with their own necessary modifications.

While libertarian anarchists oppose hierarchy on principle, national anarchists do not. Troy Southgate has referred to egalitarianism as a 'myth'[6], calling hierarchies 'a basic fact of nature'.[11] It is argued that capitalism produces rulers who did not earn their place and results in said leaders exploiting everyone else.[10] In a national anarchist society, proper leaders would supposedly emerge, winning authority based on merit and these would bring up the rest of society instead of exploiting it. These leaders would be the most influential people in their society but would not have any sort of vested authority. They would be more akin to ‘big men’ or chiefs than kings or presidents. Thus, ‘authority remains, even as government is abolished'.[4]

Racism[edit]

The key aspect of the ‘Natural Order’ that national anarchists seek to ‘revive’ is racial separation. National anarchists seek to create societies that are first and foremost organised along racial lines. Since virtually all national anarchists are white,[citation NOT needed] what they are essentially seeking is white separatism, though, of course, they claim not to be racist.[12] Troy Southgate has said that modernization has resulted in a situation where the white race is at risk of extinction, as much at risk as ‘the white rhino and the giant panda'.[10] He has described England as a ‘multi-racial hellhole’.[6] That the entire concept of race is a product of the modernization they claim to oppose is ignored.

It cannot be stressed enough that preventing race-mixing is the most important goal of national anarchism and racial separation is the first component of any ‘natural order’. This seems obvious enough given the name of the ideology but some proponents have attempted to say that the ‘national’ simply refers to establishing ‘nations’ of like-minded individuals. Yet leading American national anarchist Andrew Yeoman has described national anarchism as a blueprint for ‘ethnic survival’.[13] When asked what England will look like in 100 years Troy Southgate answered only with a dodgy analogy about how adding more drops of black ink to ‘clean water’ results in it becoming unclean and eventually not even water anymore.[6] For national anarchists everything else advocated is ‘of secondary importance’ or merely a means of establishing a white separatist end.

Like many racists, national anarchists have argued that advocating racial separatism is not racism.[14] They argue that they are being unfairly picked on given that it was black anarchists who first started refusing to let whites into their meetings.[5] But that ignores why safe spaces were established in the first place and seems wilfully ignorant. Indeed, national anarchists are fond of playing the victim card with Andrew Yeoman whining about ‘intense persecution for racialist beliefs’.[13]

Anti-Semitism is a big feature in the national anarchist movement, which is not surprising given its origins. Troy Southgate has promoted the work of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review, while other leading proponents have been more explicit in their denial of the Holocaust.[8] National anarchists blame the Jews for much of the world’s problems, such as the recent financial crisis. This is cloaked by claiming to be anti-Zionist. For example, the International Monetary Fund has been denounced as ‘Zionist controlled’. That national anarchists are merely continuing the traditional fascist line of blaming greedy Jewish financiers for the world’s problems is obvious, despite the cloak. They even follow the traditional fascist line of blaming Jews for both capitalism and communism.[15] The cover has slipped on occasion though, such as when Troy Southgate described the known Anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as being ‘in accord with the main events of history’.[8]

Other horrors[edit]

National anarchism is regarded as being a homophobic movement.[3][4] National anarchists in the United States and elsewhere have participated in counter-demonstrations at gay pride parades.[5] Troy Southgate has stated that he pulled his own children out of public education in part due to the UK national curriculum teaching ‘reading, writing and buggery’.[3] Homosexuality is said to exist outside the ‘Natural Order’ and, again, is the product of industrialisation and urbanisation. This, of course, ignores the many instances of pre-industrial stateless societies accepting homosexuality and indeed the abundance of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Why homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ is never adequately explained. It appears to be just another example of national anarchists using the cloak of ‘nature’ to attack things they don’t like.

Unlike many other anti-capitalist anarchists, national anarchists believe that the family is ‘the basic unit of society’.[4] They believe that men and women have different roles to play within the family and society at large with, of course, men being head in both of these. They argue that traditional gender roles are ‘natural’ and that feminism ‘encourages women to rebel against their inherent feminine instincts’.[8] National anarchists are anti-abortion generally, though debate on whether abortion should be permitted in certain circumstances and what circumstances exists within national anarchist circles.[3] Divorce is also held in contempt, as is artificial birth control.[4]

Counter claim[edit]

National anarchists counter criticism that they are bigoted and that their ideology is inherently oppressive and authoritarian by arguing that they are only describing the kind of separate, autonomous communities that they themselves would like to live in. People with more liberal values would be free to, and would, form their own autonomous communities, they argue.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that it only holds for the initial group to establish the kind of society national anarchists envisage. As new generations come in, some of them would be born homosexual or transgender and would have to either hide their identity or leave. Given the stress on the importance of family, the belief that men are its natural head and the hostility to divorce, it cannot even be said for certain that women and young people would be free to leave for other societies if they wanted to or felt they had to.

History[edit]

Although the term ‘national anarchism’ has existed since the 1920s, the movement is today most associated with the ‘National Anarchist Movement’ (N-AM) created by Troy Southgate.[16] After leaving the British National Front in 1989 Southgate was involved in various third position groups before he came to the conclusion in the late 1990s that anarchism was the most effective way to secure the fundamental goals of the groups he was previously involved with.

Followers of the nascent ideology began to appear at demonstrations and fairs in 1999 but received a hostile reception by other anarchists, occasionally even being physically attacked. As Casey Sanchez of the Southern Poverty Law Center explains,

‘Unifying anarchists has been likened to herding cats. But if there is one theme that most anarchists will rally around, it is that of stamping out racism, especially organized racism driven by white nationalist ideology'.[5]

National anarchists still appear on the streets and are still met with a negative reception.[17] However, they have utilised the internet in order to spread their ideas. This is despite their belief that the internet ‘leads to a greater dependence on technology’ than they hold acceptable.[6] A broad national anarchist website was created and in 2010 the national anarchist manifesto was uploaded to it.

Although originating in Britain, there are now adherents of the ideology in many other countries. National anarchists are active in the United States through the Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA) group, as well as a few other groups.[5] Adherents are also present in Russia, Australia, and Germany (where they have ‘sown turmoil in the environmental movement’.[5]

National anarchists have always attempted to recruit people from all over the political spectrum. Andrew Yeoman has boasted that ‘we have ex-liberals, ex-neo-cons, we have Ron Paul supporters, we have ex-skinheads, we have apolitical people that have been turned onto our cause’.[5]

National anarchists have adopted the aesthetics of the far-left in an attempt to recruit members.[8] They have also adopted the frequent white nationalist tactic of using music to draw in young people to the movement.

National anarchists have long regarded ‘entryism’ as their best chance to give their ideas influence. They look back to the success of Militant Tendency in getting their members elected to Liverpool City Council in the 1980s as Labour Party candidates. National anarchist leaders have called upon followers to ‘infiltrate bona fide organizations, institutions and political parties with the intention of gaining control of them for our own purposes’.[8] Southgate has argued that the groups that should be infiltrated are those with a ‘weak, apathetic or elderly leadership’.[10] National anarchists entering these groups should be ‘polite and courteous’ and quiet about their true politics. Only when trust has been established should the infiltrator invite more national anarchists in, the process continuing until they can take control of the organization easily.[10]

Followers of the movement hope ultimately to gain enough supporters through recruiting and gaining control of existing organizations that they can create ‘National Autonomous Zones’ where their ideas can be put into practice. These zones would be separate from the state’s economy. The examples would ideally be followed. Thus by creating a counter-society from below, the state would ultimately fall into irrelevance.[4][13]

Assessment[edit]

Troy Southgate has previously mocked the ‘inexhaustible plethora of ideological variants which come and go like empires founded upon sand’ that industrial society creates.[10] Why he expects national anarchism to be any different is puzzling. The movement has no popular support and cannot even demonstrate without being forced away. Indeed, very few people are even aware that such a thing as ‘national anarchism’ exists. There is also an understanding that the state would not allow ‘national autonomous zones’ that secede from it to exist for long. With that in mind some national anarchists have suggested that they must flee the west to establish their communities, which is amusing given that adherents have participated in anti-immigration rallies.[6][8]

National anarchism is going nowhere but it is still worth discussing. This is because, as Spencer Sunshine points out, it is important to understand how fascists are changing their tactics and aesthetics in order to re-brand themselves. National anarchism offers a perfect example of this, as they eschew the fuhrer principle and adopt aesthetics more commonly associated with the far left all while maintaining the core vision of fascism. That is of ‘the national community rising phoenix like after a period encroaching decadence which all but destroyed it’.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. J.W Sturgeon 2001. 'Interview with Troy Southgate' [1]. Retrieved 26-06-2014.
  2. Roger Griffin (2003). 'From slime mould to rhizome: an introduction: an introduction to the groupuscular right'. Patterns of Prejudice, 37(1).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Graham D. Macklin (2005). 'Co-opting the counter-culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction'. Patterns of Prejudice, 39(3).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Alan Skyes (2005). The Radical Right in Britain: Social Imperialism to the BNP (British History in Perspective). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Casey Sanchez (2009). 'California racists claim they're anarchists' [2]. Intelligence Report. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Miron Fyodorav (2006). Interview with Troy Southgate [3]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  7. National-Anarchist Manifesto (2010). 'Part 7'. [4]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Spencer Sunshine (2008). Rebranding Fascism [5]. Public Eye 23(4).
  9. Manifesto (2010). 'Introduction'. [6]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Troy Southgate (2007). Tradition and Revolution: Collected Writings of Troy Southgate. Great Britain: Arktos Media.
  11. Manifesto (2010). 'Part 2'. [7]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  12. Manifesto (2010). 'Part 5'. [8]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Greg Johnson (2009). 'An Interview with Andrew Yeoman'. [9]. Retrieved: 26/-06/2-14
  14. Manifesto (2010). 'Part 5'. [10]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  15. Manifesto (2010). 'Part 3'. [11]. Retrieved: 26-06-2014.
  16. The Other Wiki [12]
  17. [13]