Posts Tagged ‘white nationalists’

How dangerous is the alt-right?

May 8, 2019

A pro-Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden on Feb. 20, 1939


A left-wing writer who calls himself Jay Firestone wrote an interesting article and gave an interesting interview about his three months’ experience hanging out with the “alt-right” in New York City.

My three takeaways are (1) yes, these guys really are Nazis, even though they don’t say so in public; (2) they have been effectively marginalized for the time being; but (3) they could become a major political force if things go on as they are.

The alt-right … … is a response to decades of decline in standards of living for working people, amid the proliferation of unemployment and meaningless, dead-end jobs.  Moreover, no coherent leftist movement exists through which everyday people can make sense of this world and collaborate across lines of race and gender to build a better one.  As a result, many of those who reject the status quo blame their problems on immigrants, feminism, trans rights, and other bogeymen, rather than the capitalist social relations from which the problems facing working people inevitably proceed.

The real threat today is not that small pockets of white-supremacist ideologues exist.  It’s that their vision of society might become the only one that makes sense to ordinary white people, for whom reality increasingly seems like a battle between racially-defined interest groups for slivers from a shrinking pie.  

From the article in Commune

It’s fashionable to say that the alt-right, and the more mainstream Trump movement, is rooted in white working-class resentment of black and immigrant advancement. This idea gets us absolutely nowhere.  It’s based on the economic fallacy that all the jobs and assets lost by white people in the last four decades have gone to black people and immigrants. That’s totally wrong.  Things are getting worse for just about everyone.  … …

Now you have austerity dressed up in this business-friendly liberalism; you literally have downwardly mobile white people being scolded, being told, “You’re only resentful because black people have a seat at the table,” or “You should be ashamed of yourself, check your privilege.”  

I mean, if your options are very narrow, you are one health emergency away from destitution, and these self-righteous liberals are saying you need to feel bad for how great you have it, you need to give up a little to atone for the sins of the past, the natural response is “fuck that.”  Only very comfortable people would embrace a politics based on giving up what you have so that individual people can succeed in your place.  And I can’t think of an easier politics to organize against.

Thus the big threat that the alt-right poses is the way they can tell white people, especially downwardly mobile white people: You don’t have to feel bad; you don’t have to apologize to anybody. You can actually feel good about yourself, about being white, and turn your back on humanity. 

From the interview in Jewish Currents


The waning power of overt white racism

September 15, 2015
Source: Al Jazeera America

Source: Al Jazeera America

White racists and self-described white nationalists are increasingly on the defensive, or so it seems to me.  Rather than assert the right to rule, they seek to go off by themselves and form all-white enclaves.

I recently read an article about Matthew Heimbach, founder and leader of the Traditionalist Youth Network, an up-and-coming white nationalist group which recruits high school and college students.

Heimbach believes that white people need to separate themselves from other races in order to preserve their culture and identity.  His ideas are parallel to those of Louis Farrakhan and other black nationalists, whom he endorses.

He is profoundly wrong.   A policy such as he advocates could not be accomplished without the kind of ethnic cleansing that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia.

But he is not a Hitler, as asserted by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  What he says is very different from saying that other races should be killed or enslaved, just as the harmless Randy Weaver was very different from the murderous Dylann Roof.

I think Heimbach’s stance shows how overt white racists and nationalists are on the defensive in the United States today.  This is a good thing.  It shows that progress is possible.


The Little Fuhrer: A Day in the Life of the New Generation of White Nationalists by Vegas Tenold for Al Jazeera America.