Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 4, 2019

Understanding the El Paso killer’s manifesto in context

Yesterday I posted the manifesto written by Patrick Crusius to 8Chan, a website favored by white supremacists, just before he murdered or wounded dozens at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Some people have written comments on my blog or on FB questioning why I would give him publicity. I answered that since so much of his manifesto sounds like it could have been written by a leftist, it was incumbent on the left to explain this. So, here goes.

To start with, a mixture of nativism and leftist politics is not a new phenomenon in American history. Founded in 1844 and dissolved in 1860, the Know Nothing Party was trying to keep out Catholics, which meant the Irish basically but also some Germans. In 1854, they ran abolitionist Nathaniel Banks for president.

One of the main factors driving the anti-Catholic animus was the Pope’s counter-revolutionary attitude toward the revolutions of 1848. The Catholic church was a pillar of the old feudal state and the Know Nothing supporters feared that Catholic immigration would help tilt Washington against constitutional democracy. As you can see from James McPherson’s observation on the Know Nothing wiki page, the same kind of hysteria drove their nativism as Trump’s today.

Immigration during the first five years of the 1850s reached a level five times greater than a decade earlier. Most of the new arrivals were poor Catholic peasants or laborers from Ireland and Germany who crowded into the tenements of large cities. Crime and welfare costs soared. Cincinnati’s crime rate, for example, tripled between 1846 and 1853 and its murder rate increased sevenfold. Boston’s expenditures for poor relief rose threefold during the same period.

— James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 131

The People’s Party was formed in 1892 and dissolved in 1909. Its main leader was Tom Watson, who advocated an alliance of poor white and black farmers against the banks, the railroads and the Democratic Party that was seen as their instrument. Around 1900, he began to rail against blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants.

The platform of Watson’s 1892 campaign for president was a mixture of leftist and nativism. For example, it called for major benefits to the working class: “That we cordially sympathize with the efforts of organized workingmen to shorten the hours of labor, and demand a rigid enforcement of the existing eight-hour law on Government work, and ask that a penalty clause be added to the said law.”

But immediately above this plank was a typical nativist rant: “That we condemn the fallacy of protecting American labor under the present system, which opens our ports to the pauper and criminal classes of the world and crowds out our wage-earners; and we denounce the present ineffective laws against contract labor, and demand the further restriction of undesirable immigration.”

While many on the left view Trump as a throwback to this kind of xenophobia, in many ways FDR was the worst nativist of the 20th century. He refused to allow Jews into the USA as political refugees and suspended the constitutional rights of Japanese citizens in 1941 out of a combination of war hysteria and a long-time animosity toward them as I pointed out in a CounterPunch article:

In 1923, FDR wrote an article for Asia magazine titled “Shall We Trust Japan” that sounds like it could have been written by Ann Coulter:

Hatred of foreigners is deeply embedded in the American psyche, so much so that even the “socialist” Bernie Sanders is capable of saying things like: “If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something that we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”

With such fear and hatred of immigrants today, the only thing that distinguishes Patrick Crusius from the average Trump voter was his willingness to act on his poisonous views. The soil has been fertilized by three years of Trump’s bullshit and we can expect such massacres to take place on a regular basis.

But let me turn now to the question of his leftist views that include a hatred of corporations, the two-party system and environmental degradation. Unless you haven’t been paying attention, this dynamic has been at play for nearly a decade now as I have pointed out repeatedly on this blog.

The first time it came to my attention was over the ideological bloc formed around Syria, with leftists and rightists repeating the same talking points. On the right side of my blog, you’ll see a category called Red-Brown Alliance and you’ll find fourteen articles. In addition, there’s another category somewhat redundantly called right-left convergence that will return links to another five articles, the earliest dated June 16, 2014. Finally, there are articles that are categorized both as Russia and Fascism that overlap with the prior categories. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow you to retrieve articles that have multiple categories but there are at least four. So, altogether there are at least 23.

In many ways, the May 9, 2014 article titled “National Bolshevism rides again” is a good introduction to the phenomenon of leftist/rightist convergence. In Weimar Germany, the Nazi movement began as a demagogic attack on corporations and the Jews. Since many Jews were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe fleeing economic ruin and pogroms, they were treated like Latinos are in the USA today—as scapegoats.

Even before the Nazi party was formed, there were ultra-nationalists who shared Hitler’s hatred of the Jews and the banks. Among the representatives of the Kremlin in Germany was one Karl Radek who proposed a bloc between them and the Communist Party. He urged that the Communists commemorate the death of Albert Schlageter, a member of the Freikorps—the rightwing militia that killed Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In a battle against the Allied occupation of the Ruhr after WWI, Schlageter was killed and became a martyr of the right-wing, a German Timothy McVeigh so to speak. Radek stated that “…we believe that the great majority of nationalist minded masses belong not to the camp of the capitalists but to the camp of the Workers.”

Among the Communists most swayed by Karl Radek’s thinking was Ruth Fischer who gave a speech to rightwing students:

Whoever cries out against Jewish capital…is already a fighter for his class, even though he may not know it. You are against the stock market jobbers. Fine. Trample the Jewish capitalists down, hang them from the lampposts…But…how do you feel about the big capitalists, the Stinnes, Klockner?…Only in alliance with Russia, Gentlemen of the “folkish” side, can the German people expel French capitalism from the Ruhr region.

As a movement, National Bolshevism was independent of the Nazi Party even though it shared many of its precepts. Of the top Nazi leadership, it was Gregor Strasser who was most consistently hostile to big business. When Hitler decided to consolidate his rule around a more openly pro-capitalist agenda, Strasser and his cohorts were rounded up and executed during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. Joining Strasser on the leftwing of the Nazi Party (using the term very loosely) was Joseph Goebbels who eventually peeled away from the left and became a top Nazi official.

After WWII, the National Bolsheviks and neo-Nazi groups began to crawl out of the underground and form new groups that were for the most part ignored by the left. If you want to read about their growing influence today, I strongly advise getting a hold of Anton Shekhovtsov’s “Russia and the Western Far-right: Tango Noir” that I reviewed for CounterPunch last year (https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/02/between-socialism-and-barbarism/). What has been happening over the past 8 years or so is a geopolitical realignment that brought together Putin’s nationalist ambitions, the far-right in Europe including Marine Le Pen and the AfD in Germany, and many on the left who supported Assad and the Donetsk separatists on an “anti-imperialist” basis.

RT.com has been key to this realignment. Early on, RT executives figured out that “Russia is good” programming would not work in the West but if you mixed “Russia is good” with “The West is Bad”, you might have a winning formula. This is commonly known as “whataboutism” and has a certain viability since it is based on the obvious reality that the West is pretty damned bad. If Assad is blowing up Syrian hospitals, then you can always feature news about Saudi Arabia doing the same thing in Yemen. (Not that you can get any news about Russian jets bombing hospitals in Idlib.)

While a bogus anti-imperialism brought the left and the right together, there has been a gradual adoption of “class struggle” rhetoric on the far right that echoes National Bolshevism and even Gregor Strasser’s hostility to banks and corporations. So much of this is cropping up nowadays, it surely must have seeped into Patrick Crusius’s brain. With a huge megaphone on Fox News, Tucker Carlson has been sounding “leftist” notes that must have endeared him to Max Blumenthal and Stephen F. Cohen who are regular guests on his show to talk about the need to avoid WWIII (i.e., back Putin’s war on the Syrian poor).

Within the last year or so, Carlson has begun to trash the rich. He shared Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s resistance to Amazon building a headquarters in Long Island City, saying “Why is New York, which is crumbling, I’m there a lot, you may be there now, the city’s falling apart. It smells. The subways break. It’s disgusting. Why would the city be spending $3 billion to the richest man in the world?” He has also said things like “I’m definitely against a system where really the only success stories are like 27 billionaires who hate America, which is where we are now.” And “Our leaders don’t care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule.”

Finally, on the question of whether Patrick Crusius is a “Green”. He wrote:

The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country. The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources. This has been a problem for decades. For example, this phenomenon is brilliantly portrayed in the decades old classic “The Lorax”. Water sheds around the country, especially in agricultural areas, are being depleted. Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil drilling operations. Consumer culture is creating thousands of tons of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste, and recycling to help slow this down is almost non-existent. Urban sprawl creates inefficient cities which unnecessarily destroys millions of acres of land. We even use god knows how many trees worth of paper towels just wipe water off our hands. Everything I have seen and heard in my short life has led me to believe that the average American isn’t willing to change their lifestyle, even if the changes only cause a slight inconvenience. The government is unwilling to tackle these issues beyond empty promises since they are owned by corporations.

Every word of this is true. It doesn’t matter that the words were written by a fascist killer. We are dealing with an environmental crisis that is impossible to ignore unless you are some billionaire with huge investments in Monsanto, Exxon-Mobil and Dow Chemical. Keep in mind that Edward Abbey was a great radical environmentalist who devoted his life to writing about and acting on the need to protect wildlife and nature. He was also a vicious nativist who once wrote an editorial for the NY Times in 1988 that was rejected because it was toxic. Titled “Immigration and Liberal Taboos”, it stated:

Therefore-let us close our national borders to any further mass immigration, legal or illegal, from any source, as does every other nation on earth. The means are available, it’s a simple technical-military problem. Even our Pentagon should be able to handle it. We’ve got an army somewhere on this planet, let’s bring our soldiers home and station them where they can be of some actual and immediate benefit to the taxpayers who support them.

As scary as these white racist terror attacks are, we are not on the verge of a civil war in the USA or a fascist takeover. In the Weimar Republic, there was a danger and that was the result of massive revolutionary that had openly tried to overthrow the capitalist government in 1921 and 1923. Even though it never was able to form a common front with the social democrats, it was such a powerful threat that the ruling class was not ready for it to try a third time under a more savvy leadership.

No such conditions exist in the USA today. The working class is not in motion and trying to project wildcat teacher strikes as the opening of a rebirth of trade union militancy is an over-projection. I say this as someone who was a witness to many challenges to the corporate bosses during my youth, from Ed Sadlowski’s rank-and-file steelworkers movement to the Black-led auto workers caucuses in Lordstown and elsewhere.

The main task facing us is preparatory. There certainly will be major class battles down the road and we should take advantage of the relatively open conditions to begin to pull together a radical movement that eschews sectarianism but not at the expense of militancy. In the 1920s, there was a battle to win the loyalty of industrial workers with some defecting to the Nazi party because of the ineptness of the left. To win the working class to socialism, it is necessary to raise demands that speak to its basic needs such as the right to a job and the right to clean air and water. In pursuit of winning these demands, mass action is essential. Most workers view voting as a pointless exercise. I will conclude with a recommendation to read the article by the anonymous blogger behind “Cold and Dark Stars” that appears beneath this one. Titled “The Rise of the Right Wing is not Due to the Working Class Because Workers Don’t Vote” that is right on, as we used to put it in the 1960s.



  1. Not for nothing Louis, I would point again to the instance of when Charles Lindbergh, Father Coughlin, Gerald Ford, Jack Kennedy, Gore Vidal, Robert La Follette, and Norman Thomas all teamed up for the America First Committee movement in the 1930s. German parliamentary democracy is not the same as American federalism’s electoral politics, meaning the construction of coalitions and development of alliances operates differently. The Reichstag system was open to more than two parties while the Federalist system is written specifically to prevent the development of multi-party elections, that’s written out in the Federalist Papers. Furthermore, it’s not like the Dixiecrats weren’t fascists in the interwar years, when lynchings and pogroms against Black communities was on the rise. Also, the hitch with the Comintern, among other things, was how they were saying one thing out one side of their mouth during the Third Period while the Soviet Union was maintaining trade relations with Mussolini!

    Comment by stew312856 — August 4, 2019 @ 11:22 pm

  2. Lou have I got this right? You are saying that the German Capitlist class turned to Fascism to counter the Communist threat. That seems to me to be historically irrefutable. You then make the claim there is no communist threat in the United States. Agains I think that is irrefutable.

    But then you conclude that the American capitalist class will not turn to fascism.

    I emphasize here that I have read and agree with material that you have written about what the abstraction “turn to fascism” would mean in practice. For instance this conversation would not be taken place if a fascist regime was in power in the US. It would be the state that would be gunning people down not just the demented individual nativist.

    Could it be, though, that there is a range of reasons why a particular Capitalism Class would turn to fascism and that the exisentence of a Communist thrieat is only one of these?

    Comment by Gary MacLennan — August 5, 2019 @ 1:03 am

  3. I would like to add to the above comment that, just as I believe there can be a range of immediate reasons for a capitalist class to turn to fascism, there can also be different roads to fascism. In this respect fascism differs from socialism. The latter cannot be brought about gradually the reformist way, but will always sooner or later have to confront and abolish big private capital in a relatively swift manner or face inevitable reversal. But I think fascism probably can be “reformed” into being, gradually, in a development towards an ever more authoritarian capitalism, and that it is somewhere on this route we are at this moment. Liberalism contains in itself the seeds of fascism: the social-darwinist market worship and the blame-the-poor culture it engenders, the inevitable concentration of power, the integration of state and capital, the idea of the nightwatchman state (small when seen from above, quasi-totalitarian when seen from below) and so on. Therefore, despite all the rhetorical “cuteness” on both sides (liberal and fascist), there is not necessarily a need for a radical break.

    Comment by Daniel Lindvall — August 5, 2019 @ 9:39 am

  4. Trump and fascism: 1) Trump doesn’t have the chops to be a dictator–he’s impulsive, inconsistent, and chaotic; everything is personal to him and whatever isn’t personal doesn’t exist; 2) He doesn’t seek to organize the whole country in a coordinated force goose-stepping toward total war (the aim of nazism and to a lesser degree of Italian fascism); on the contrary he seeks to fragment and disunite–to immobilize rather than to mobilize; to weaken whatever social bonds prevent the Jeffrey Epstein class from preying without restriction on the infected carcass of the imperial monster.

    Mass shootings based on his ideology suit him because such actions are politically futile except to breed more such attacks on “soft targets.” No matter how many such massacres his followers enact, they will never lead to an effectively united political movement that might one day, only to fragmentation and fear. The more chaos and nameless fear, as far as Trump is concerned, the better. This is a huge point of difference between Trump and fascism.

    Liberals use the word “fascism” merely to denote the ultimate degree of political evil as measured by the level of self-righteous indignation stirred up in the breast of the card-carrying individual moralist. This is a distinction without a difference. By these lights the Inquisition in 17th-century Portugal and Stalin were also and equally fascist. Not useful.

    That said, Louis–this is IMO very much on point and something that needs to be said and thoroughly digested on the left, especially as an antidote to the Elise Hendricks/Antifa nonsense, which is (also IMO) clearly not the correct response and may lead to the very thing it purports to oppose. Thank you–let’s hope ppl. get the message.

    I wonder what the Proud Boys think of these shootings–they may be a different kettle of fish altogether. They have certainly eclipsed flabby old punching dummy Spencer as the leading lights of actual fascism in the U.S.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — August 5, 2019 @ 10:54 am

  5. correction: movement that might one day=movement that might one day challenge Trump himself

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — August 5, 2019 @ 10:55 am

  6. Checked the PB website. Nothing–noticed that they claim to welcome gay members and feature an image of a black man on their home page. Case in point for Louis-red-brown with a vengeance. Weird.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — August 5, 2019 @ 11:03 am

  7. You’re ignoring the obvious; that Trump’s statements inspired and provided legitimacy for the actions of this racist killer

    Rather like Bigfoot or the Unicorn, the “Red-Brown alliance” was and is, largely a myth.
    Radek was never a “National Bolshevik”
    In the early 20’s his views reflected the official policy of the Communist International, which he represented in Germany.

    As Clara Zetkin’s, June 1923 report the “Struggle Against Fascism made clear, the policy of the Communist International was for a “Proletarian United Front”

    The French occupation of the Ruhr had led to an all-out Miners’ strike, but as Zetkin recognised, large number of disillusioned
    “civil servants, intellectuals, and lower and mid-level petty bourgeois of every type” were being ruined by the collapse of the German economy .

    At the same Comintern EC Karl Radek delivered his famous “Schlageter speech”,

    Schlageter was a far-right nationalist, executed by the French after sabotaging a railway line.
    A school teacher believed to have informed on him was beaten to death by Rudolf Höss (who subsequently became Camp Commandant at Auschwitz) and Martin Bormann.

    A political alliance with the likes of Höss & Bormann was clearly impossible –
    which is why Radek never argued for one.

    He argued that Schlageter’s politics were a dead end.
    However, in agreement with Zetkin’s report, he also wrote
    “..if we are to conquer Fascism we must win over the petty bourgeoisie.” (July 1923)

    This had to be done be exposing fascist policies and showing that workers and the impoverished middle class wouldn’t benefit from them.
    At most this consisted of holding open debates with the nationalists.
    These were soon terminated when the Communists came out on top.

    Only two former KPD members could accurately be described as “National Bolsheviks”;
    Fritz Wolfheim and Heinrich Lauffenberg.

    They broke with official social democracy when it failed to oppose the First World War and joined the USPD in Hamburg.
    They’d supported the Spartacus rising and joined the early Communist party.
    When social democratic parties refused to organise solidarity with German workers during the Ruhr occupation, they also rejected the CI’s policy of a proletarian united front.

    Radek broke with them before they were expelled from the KPD.
    A few years later they were also expelled by the KAPD, which for a few years was a C.I sympathising section in Germany.

    Their hopes of an alliance with the nationalist right were totally illusory.
    They were never trusted by either the Nazis or communists,
    Laufenberg dropped out of politics and Wolfheim died in a Nazi concentration camp.
    A dead end alright.

    Comment by prianikoff — August 5, 2019 @ 1:24 pm

  8. Patrick Crusius is a right-wing racist, a white nationalist, an Islamophobe. How can anyone POSSIBLY link him with the political left?

    Comment by walterlx — August 5, 2019 @ 2:55 pm

  9. Louis, thanks for this thoughtful political and historical analysis; I learned from it. My own first reaction was purely emotional, and focused on that individual’s (and by extension, every individual’s) personal moral character. I can see how your description of a contemporary context helps explain the likelihood of destructive individual outbursts. My brief reaction is given here:
    Thoughts on the El Paso Mass Murderer
    5 August 2019

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — August 5, 2019 @ 6:23 pm

  10. Let’s not forget Gore Vidal’s bromance with Timothy McVeigh.

    Comment by Jay — August 5, 2019 @ 6:28 pm

  11. I think that the McVeigh episode obviously was a bit nutty but a strange piece of political journalism does not by default impact one’s prior opinions and activism retroactively, if such were the case all Trots descending from Max Shachtman would have to pack up shop because of the fact MS ended his life as such a reactionary. Furthermore it is rather telling you go for that individual episode rather than discussing the rest of the people that I named. In other words, who cares and so what?

    Comment by stew312856 — August 5, 2019 @ 8:29 pm

  12. In the early 20’s his views reflected the official policy of the Communist International, which he represented in Germany


    I guess you are okay with Ruth Fischer’s speech. I can’t say I’m surprised.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 5, 2019 @ 8:31 pm

  13. “Corporations control the U.S.” and “capitalism is destroying the environment” aren’t left-wing positions; they’re statements of fact. The fact that this right-wing murderer happened to repeat them isn’t proof of a left-right convergence — it just means that, despite being a racist piece of shit, he’s not completely brain-dead. He probably also thinks the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    Comment by Dave Palmer — August 6, 2019 @ 12:13 am

  14. The article noted here describes connections between 19th century U.S. white nationalist policy and the Nazi regime; and its return with Trump.

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — August 6, 2019 @ 1:55 am

  15. I am amazed how brainwashed all of you kids, including the shooters, have become.
    I would love one of you whippersnappers to explain how and why you have come to despise humanity so much.
    I don’t understand. Carbon dioxide is as important to life on earth as oxygen and anyone who tells you that it is pollution is also brainwashed and deluded.
    Please love one another and party on dudes.

    Comment by chris — August 6, 2019 @ 2:06 am

  16. #12 Not being surprised at your unjustified assumptions isn’t exactly an argument.
    Ruth Fischer was always a ultra-left windbag.

    Comment by prianikoff — August 6, 2019 @ 10:24 am

  17. I don’t understand. Carbon dioxide is as important to life on earth as oxygen and anyone who tells you that it is pollution is also brainwashed and deluded.

    Yes, you don’t understand. As a psychiatrist might say to a mental patient, we are making progress.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 6, 2019 @ 12:21 pm

  18. #11 Down deep all extremists are comrades in arms, breathe life into each other, and are on a continuum between counter-productive and destructive. The two interesting names on your list are Vidal and Coughlin, who ended up on opposite political extremes but with nearly identical world views. Who cares and so what? Vidal’s “nutty” enabling of McVeigh could have had the effect of encouraging destructive extremists on either side. It’s one thing to have legitimate anti-corporation (or even anti-immigrant) opinions but to embrace a mass murderer is reckless.

    Comment by Jay — August 6, 2019 @ 12:45 pm

  19. I haven’t revisited in years, but my distant impression is that Vidal saw in McVeigh a potentially valuable citizen gone terribly wrong. I think he may have been right. Never mind Vidal’s screwy synthesis of “aristocratic” snobbery and Eleanor Roosevelt liberalism–and his consecration of an overarching myth of America the Good, which IMO is a useless lie coming from no matter who (even Walt Whitman). I find parallels between McVeigh and Dzhokar Tsarnaev–two men who perhaps did not inherently have to do what they did and thus become what they became.

    The flip side of some of these killers talking red-brown is that “God” didn’t make them evil, though many (unlike IMO McVeigh, but ..) are probably nuts–i.e., locked incurably into unallowable thoughts and behaviors by a procress of development that is frozen unalterably into character. They may well have some good ideas that are rendered useless by their actions and by what they stand for objectively. We need the intellectual strength to stand up to that without getting too het up about “evil,” if by that we mean anything like that non-existent, if evocative, bugbear Satan.

    In my opinion for what it’s worth the current manifesto-maker didn’t belong in the redeemable category, but his writing certainly shows vestiges of rationality and is surprisingly articulate in places.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — August 6, 2019 @ 1:25 pm

  20. Perhaps to sum up, a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Comment by Jay — August 6, 2019 @ 1:34 pm

  21. This world has gone mad. You are all evil misanthropes. Why do you want to wipe the rest of us off the face of this planet?
    Are you really that sure that you understand co2?

    Comment by chris — August 6, 2019 @ 1:46 pm

  22. CO2 becomes pollution when there is too much of it.

    Comment by Jay — August 6, 2019 @ 2:02 pm

  23. Louis, are you familiar with J. Sakai, the idiosyncratic Maoist best known for writing Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat? I’ve found his work on fascism to be incredibly prescient in light of the wave of white supremacist insurgency that we are now seeing—in the wake of Timothy McVeigh, Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc., he pioneered many of the same discussions that we are now having. He, more than any other leftist, understands that there is a genuine contradiction between the interests of the imperialism of transnational capitalism and that of white settler society. (It’s not unusual for the interests of empire and its settlers to conflict—South Africa and Rhodesia seceded from the British Empire to preserve white dominance, after all.) The reason why Patrick Crusius’ manifesto, as well as Brenton Tarrant’s, sounds like it could have been written by a leftist in parts is because the far Right violently hates the same transnational capitalist regime (i.e., “globalists” in their idiom) that the Left hates, and it is on this basis that red-brown alliances are being made. (Notice how Crusius and Tarrant are not specifically concerned with Jews, the usual scapegoat the far Right invokes to spare their friends in the national bourgeoisie. No, their hatred is for the bourgeoisie in its entirety.) Indeed, if anything, the far Right represents an even larger threat to the neoliberal order than the Left does—McVeigh singlehandedly struck a far greater blow against USG than all the left-wing insurgent groups combined. Imagine what a thousand McVeighs could accomplish (and you’d better believe that there are at least a thousand McVeighs in waiting). To quote Sakai:

    >Obviously, rightist political views that touch on fascism are held by many white Americans. They’re conditionally loyal to the government (and in the government) only because their level of prosperity and privilege is so high that why should they lift their faces from the trough? But if the u.s. capitalist class left it to a “democratic” vote of its white citizens, known fascists like David Duke would be in the u.s. senate, there would be no W.T.O. but also no Civil Rights Act, and much of America would proudly fly the Confederate flag of the slavemasters. The imperialist State’s largest domestic security priority is not terrorism, the ghetto or the border as they pretend, but restraining and defusing white settler rebellion to the right.

    Those flocking to the far Right know that their way of life is giving way to rapid desettlerization, that they are economically superfluous in an age when the global reserve army of labor could do their jobs for far cheaper, and that neoliberal governments and corporations alike are policing national majorities to suppress their ability to mobilize in resistance to their ongoing demographic minoritization. Sakai again:

    >That the u.s. was always an empire from day one. Always invading, colonizing, always occupying other peoples and nations. But we have to be careful that even with this valuable insight we don’t get misled by the past, that an old truth doesn’t accidentally obscure our vision of the new situation. The old white euro-settler society that was America is being ruthlessly torn down & remade, still stubbornly rooted in its stolen lands but no longer dominant on a world scale or even necessarily in North America. Like every other capitalist power, America is contributing its DNA to a world capitalism of a new type.


    >Just as so many white farmers in the Northern Plains states know how to raise commercial crops, run complex farm machinery, juggle agricultural chemicals, negotiate government and bank loans in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own lands and business. But they really aren’t needed anymore as a small business class (and the State is tired of subsidizing them). Globalized transnational capitalism can get cattle and wheat much cheaper in other countries. Most of those rural white men forced off the land and out of small towns, losing their independence as producers, make the jump to cities and ordinary jobs. Others can’t adjust to losing their middle class feelings of independence (government subsidized, of course). However they manage to survive, in their hearts they are drifting to the far right as enemies of the State and the banks and corporations that destroyed them. Like at Ruby Ridge. Like the tax refusers. Like the very successful violent movement to reclaim federal lands for free local settler exploitation.


    >And, as Arghiri Emmanuel has noted, imperialism is gradually abandoning its own kith and kin, its settler societies. We first saw this in Kenya in 1960, where the British settler colony was unceremoniously dumped after the Mau Mau Rebellion in favor of an Afrikan neo-colonial regime. Then in Algeria, where French imperialism gave up on what had by their laws been an actual province of France – and left a million French Algerian settlers to lose their farms and homes and possessions, to flee in a frenzied mass evacuation. Capitalism has no loyalties, after all, only interests (to paraphrase a famous statesman). It was only then that the colons and their military sympathizers sought an end to French bourgeois democracy, to start a new fascist interlude. Even in North America settlers are being told by imperialism to move over and make room for new immigrants from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Afrika. To pay the bill as the state gives back some land and reparations and tax concessions to Native nations. And they certainly hate it!

    The phenomenon of right-wing anti-interventionism is no mystery once you understand that they are settlers on strike. America’s settlers are coming to realize that the empire is not holding up its end of the bargain in return for their loyalty. They get shipped off to Afghanistan to fight at the side of pedophile warlords only to return home to a country where gay marriage is now constitutional law and they have to dial 1 for English. The global war on terror offered a temporary reprieve from this conflict (hence why the 2000s were relatively devoid of the militia violence that characterized the 1990s) by promising to restore the settler compact by creating a state of permanent war abroad, but Bush never actually created the fascist evangelical crusader theocracy that liberals like me at the time thought was coming into being. It wasn’t that he was foiled in his attempt to do so but that he had no interest in it in the first place. Once even the slowest rubes got wise to this charade, Trump’s hijacking of the Republican Party was inevitable.

    The United States never went for fascism because settlerism filled the same niche, complete with genocide. Now that settlerism is in its death throes, the fascist insurgency is taking off to reclaim all that they have lost. Like the Boers, they conceive themselves as “anti-imperialists” fighting an empire hostile to the maintenance of their racial hegemony—and they are not entirely wrong about that. Expect more red-brown politics. The far Right is moving beyond mere anti-Semitism and accusing the entire capitalist class of complicity in their demographic decline. Already, it’s not uncommon to see right-wingers cautiously praising the actually existing socialist countries for the socially conservative qualities.

    Sakai’s written extensively on the green-red-brown alliance, as well. Let’s not forget that Werner Vogel, the former Bundestag representative who was once president of the German Greens, the leading party of its kind, was not only a card-carrying Nazi, but an unrepentant Sturmführer veteran (not to mention a serial pedophile). The Greens were also cofounded by Baldur Springmann, a Schutzstaffel veteran who preached the need for “biological revolution” and “social hygiene” through ecofascism. Indeed, the Greens early on were more brown than red.

    The Sakai articles to read are:

    * The Shock of Recognition
    * McAntiwar
    * When Race Burns Class
    * The Green Nazi

    Comment by Yakimi — August 7, 2019 @ 4:26 pm

  24. “CO2 becomes pollution when there is too much of it.”
    So what level is too much, too little or perfect mrs goldilocks? You and your brainwashed friends on this blog know nothing.
    If cows could talk they would not be stupid enough to be talked into wiping out their own kind unlike you.

    Comment by Chris — August 8, 2019 @ 1:01 am

  25. So what level is too much, too little or perfect mrs goldilocks?

    Enough to do this, idiot.


    Comment by louisproyect — August 8, 2019 @ 1:42 am

  26. Some of the republican “fascist” echoes of the left are merely insolence against coherent discourse, which may never be required of real men. They steal the enemy’s words, as a form of primitive magic, in order to silence her (Trump, Carlson). This is akin to rape, although it may have an element of seeming rationality, i.e. seduction, and usually contains fairly obvious cues to the real intent.

    Crusius, alas is all too serious, despite being a nutcase, requiring a different response.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — August 8, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

  27. “Most workers view voting as a pointless exercise”


    Comment by John Game — August 11, 2019 @ 9:56 am

  28. Yes, really.

    “In August, the Pew Research Center ranked the U.S. 31st out of 35 countries for voter turnout based on the voting age populace, among the mostly democratic nations that are a part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”


    Comment by louisproyect — August 11, 2019 @ 12:07 pm

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