Wednesday, December 02, 2009

People do not understand nationalism

Some of the usual buzz from angry people with not enough to do:

I’ve long believed in a diversity of political viewpoints, and consider myself excited to include a wide variety of anarchist beliefs under the no-state spectrum. Hell, I’m even soft on anarcho-capitalists, because agorism is kind of interesting (not that I am anarcho-capitalist, mind you. I identify as anti-capitalist). But nationalist anarchism is not anarchism. It is repackaged fascism.

I want to talk about this because I believe that fascist leaders have adopted the sexy, sexy characteristics of anarchism in order to entice young, rebellious folks into being their footsoldiers, to delude them into thinking that the problems they face are racialized. Or to trick people into thinking that being proud of your culture means that you need to keep it “pure,” that the white race is somehow threatened by multiculturalism.

here are the facts:

* anarchism seeks to end the nation-state and destroy borders
* anarchism has always been, and will always be, multicultural. Although most of the “famed” anarchist thinkers in the western world were white, many of them were not considered white at the time, and anarchism has found its way onto every continent. In America, anarchist papers were printed in all sorts of languages.
* whiteness is a social construct: that is to say, it is as manufactured by our society as gender is. Yes, some people have different racial characteristics, but the definition of what makes one “white” or “black” is a matter of social opinion, an opinion that has long been shifting. By this understanding, anarchists do indeed intend to destroy whiteness. Or “whitey.” But we’re not talking about killing white people for being white.
* fascism is the polar opposite of anarchism. Fascism is totalitarian, and beats the race-war drum mostly so as to inspire morons into doing their bidding.
* the nazis rounded up the anarchists and other leftists pretty much first and foremost. National Socialism had every intention to exterminate us as well as everyone else.

Birds Before the Storm

He in turn quotes Summoning, who made a statement of political independence that was actually disguised fascist bashing, because when you work in entertainment, it's not enough to disagree:

I prefer to be proud about things i did or am responsible for, but I never ever could feel pride for things I could not even decide upon. I can be proud about my music for example, but never that I was born in Austria. I am of course happy to live in a country like Austria instead of a poor country, but I am definitely not proud about that. It seems for me that Nazis have nothing else to be proud of than the coincidence that they were born in their father-land. Even if you are proud of your country, that doesn’t naturally mean you’re a Nazi. But if national pride is your most important pride, and probably the only pride you have, then it starts getting a bit weird.

If you think you are an individualist or rebel because you like fascism then you are wrong. There is no space for individualism in fascist regimes. In fascism conformity and obedience are the most important value. This goes for Nazi Germany as well as the Stalin-Soviet Union. Fascism means extreme conformity and following orders and leaders. You have to be a working component in the huge fascist system - thinking for yourself will disturb this system.

Let me take these one point at a time:

  • First, if you tolerate all political beliefs, that means you tolerate all political beliefs. Because anarchism is a big umbrella, it easily allows you to tolerate anything -- except anti-anarchism. So it's clear that anarchists are not going to tolerate their opposite, which makes me wonder why they'd hide behind the passive-aggressive excuse of "we're tolerant, they're not." You're not tolerant. In fact, no political view tolerates its opposites.
  • Fascism and National Socialism (he confuses the two, being a typical liberal who gets his "research" from emotive ideologes and Jon Stewart) are against the nation-state as well. In fact, that's the whole point of nationalism: replace the nation-state and its oppressive bureaucratic governments, which formulate a single standard and impose it on the populace, with an organic order, that gives each person a place and lets them find their balance with it. Equality equals uniformity because it means the same rules are applied rigidly in every situation regardless of the details or the specifics. Organic states allow for small local communities, united by culture and not government rules enforced by the police, but can only happen when there's a shared culture, language, values system and heritage.
  • What does multicultural mean? He seems to suggest that having publications in many languages qualifies. Fascist and National Socialist governments occurred in many nations, and their words were printed in many languages, and they even had non-white people fighting with them, because each realized that national autonomy and ethnic self-determination led to a better way of life than bureaucratic, culture-destroying, heritage-destroying modernity. National Socialism and Fascism are opposed to modernity in all of its forms, and believe in having a social order, which requires consensus.
  • Fascism and National Socialism are also a revolt against inspecific racial indicators like "whiteness." Germany for Germans, France for the French, and so on. I don't believe anything is a "social construct" except the idea that genetic differences don't exist, and that we're all equal. He did not consider those as social constructs. I wonder why?
  • "fascism is the polar opposite of anarchism. Fascism is totalitarian, and beats the race-war drum mostly so as to inspire morons into doing their bidding" -- Any sense of centralized or hierarchical leadership is the polar opposite of anarchism. He is also confusing a method of government, totalitarianism, with a whole type of organization of societies, which Fascism and National Socialism both are. Further, Fascism and National Socialism do not beat the race-war drum, but tend to encourage warfare against Leftists, for the following reasons: (a) leftists destroy everything they touch (b) constant conflict keeps nations on their toes, at peak performance, and united toward a goal (c) until there is theatre dominance, there will be constant hegemonic squabbles between empires, like the cold war. Further, the emphasis on ethnicity (more exact term than race) in Fascist and National Socialist societies differs. For Fascists, race is less important than having a racial ideal; for National Socialists, it is akin to a religion whereby they unite all of their people around a common ideal, enforce that ideal, and therefore DO NOT need excessive law enforcement and curtailments of freedom, because people are heading in the same direction, with the same values and inherent genetic affinities.
  • How many anarchists were exterminated by the National Socialists and Fascists, and did they have other attributes -- drug addiction, perversity, criminal behavior -- that might make them undesirable? As I recall, in the 1920s many nations were getting rid of anarchists because they have a habit of throwing bombs at pregnant women and crowds.
  • In his muddled thinking, he forgets to mention that National Socialist and Fascist governments were both elected by their people, did many good things, and only succumbed in warfare after the rest of the world united against them -- out of blind fear. And today we have speech codes in the west where no public figure can say anything positive about either one, or they are immediately drummed out of office, a job, friend groups, etc. Which do you think is more intolerant, in that light?

Now on to the statement from Summoning, which is thoroughly debunked elsewhere, but we could use a refresher:

  • First, Fascism and National Socialism are a replacement for modern society, not another flavor of it. In them, society is not deconstructed with different institutions (bureaucracies) applying abstract rules to an equal populace rendered into little more than a mob, but a complex hierarchy where religion, values, philosophy, government and culture work together and while discourse happens internally, those who wish to throw away discourse and create a society of oppositional, paranoid, neurotic critique are not tolerated. The fundamental theme of these societies is that our goal is to adapt to nature, to accept how nature works as ideal, and that as a result, some truths are eternal and do not belong to any one age. These truths, such beliefs argue, should be applied in every age for optimal health. This corresponds to what Plato said about the cycle of civilizations and how they govern themselves in The Republic; in Fascist and National Socialist eyes, these beliefs are a conduit back to a healthier state of humankind, in which aristocracy rules, a caste system directs people toward tasks appropriate to their ability level, and we trade off some "freedom" for order but in turn gain freedom from the constant chaos, infighting, deconstructive discourse, neurotic critique, bad meaningless art and hateful interpersonal politics of democracies.
  • Protector (from Summoning) never takes into account the obvious: you can be proud both of what you have done, and what your ancestors have done. Even more, pride is a way of maintaining quality control, and keeping beliefs that have worked for millennia.
  • He also thinks National Socialists ("Nazis") have pride in their nation only because they have none in themselves. He has made a poor observation of low self-esteem people, who have no reason to have pride in themselves: instead of taking pride in their nations, they seek to destroy any other sources of pride so as to feel themselves lifted up. If I have five dollars, and my neighbor ten, and I burn five of his dollars, we're equal and there's no reason to feel bad about my former impoverished status. Low self-esteem people in fact gravitate toward neurotic beliefs, like anarchism, where they are accepted and in fact valued for having done nothing and having nothing to be proud of. If you have something to be proud of, however, you are going to work to protect it and make sure there's a coherent social order so others can esteem what you did not just for its popularity or profit value, but its fulfillment of goals shared in common.
  • Next, Protector engages in a false dichotomy between individualists and totalitarian states. He neglects to mention that the greatest of totalitarian states have been created by individualists who wanted to accepted on the basis of their individuality, thus demanded more tolerance and more equality, and when the ensuing social order was chaos, implemented strict police states. You can be an individualist in a Fascist and National Socialist state, if by individualist you mean "does the right thing according to his or her own interpretation, and acts independently of others toward a goal." This is a saner definition than the neurotic modern one, which is "someone who does random things to make themselves appear unique, when they're not at their functionary jobs."
  • Finally, as mentioned above, Protector is not arguing politics -- he's making a public statement, akin to marketing, assuring us that he has the right beliefs and therefore we can guiltlessly buy his product. It's no different than a record label claiming they use recycled plastic in their CDs. In this society, a band with explicit Nazi leanings is not going to be sold on, in local record stores, or via most mail order distros. So it's best to play the game and be anti-fascist, even if you have to make a statement full of logical holes to do so.

There's two types of people in politics: those who argue for something, and those who argue against everything else, so that they can feel better about their lot in life. Anarchists tend to be people with nothing because they do nothing important, or even all that popular, and so they have to form a little in-group where they can convince each other they're cool for their boring music, illogical pamphlets and angry views of society that end up being mere excuses for why they failed at various things.

Have you seen an anarchist society lately? Neither have I, although they've been tried, and anarchists hate it when you mention that. A wave of ideological settlements passed over the US and Europe from 1900-1975 or so, and all of them failed because in anarchist states, there's no consensus as to a goal, so people do what is convenient and unless they have a trust fund, they end up starving and bitterly infighting. But anarchists don't tend to mention this because, having made themselves social outcasts, they're now dependent on selling you their stuff.

The rant by our anarchist above fits that pattern as well: he's picked a known touchstone issue, and has made a snake oil salesman/traveling preacher style appeal to you all, looking for sympathy with a touch of the mob mentality that's looking for an excuse to bash and mangle someone else so each person in the mob feels better. Search your feelings, Luke. Are you an anarchist from love of something, or hatred of everything else?

There are many of us out here who feel that modernity is a wrong turn. In our quest for ideology, we destroyed the ability to rule ourselves, and now we have an overpopulated, polluted planet, billions of neurotic and lonely angry and bitter people, and even more powerful governments. This kind of totalitarianism did not come about under aristocracy, but under government by the people for the people. So what's the weak link?

Anarchists would like you to make excuses and pretend that a giant corporate/fascist/religious conspiracy has done you wrong. More realistically, what's done you wrong is yourself and others around you. You're the ones buying Big Macs, driving SUVs, demanding government lower crime and so on. Why are we so easily fooled? Politics is complex and involves facing difficult truths. Popularity contests like democracy don't do that so well, causing many long-term problems which they can never solve.

Most people don't have the time, the inclination, the education and the ability to make quality decisions -- as Winston Churchill said (and surely you're not going to call him a Nazi), "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Voters are fundamentally ignorant, too busy to change that, and so they vote with their hearts and impulses and so hand power over to corrupt manipulators. Anarchy will do the same except even more rapidly. It's a force of decay and hatred, not of growth.

If you want a force of love, it's going to defend itself strongly, and be honest about what it tolerates -- unlike anarchists, who pretend to tolerate everything so to get popular among those who feel the world has done them wrong. If you want a society based on love, it's going to choose to unite itself around the things that it loves, and then work hard toward those things, including smashing its enemies.

Personally, I identify myself as an anti-racist. That means that I think no one should look down on someone else for their race and/or ethnicity. As part of that, I recognize that each ethnic group needs its own space and the ability to toss out outsiders. That way, the ethnic group continues to exist. If we move all people of all races to all places, we end up with a uniform gray race everywhere, which is racism because it destroys indigenous and unique groups and replaces them with the generic. Yet this is what anarchists want you to do, under the guise that it's anti-racism. If you look closely, you'll see that instead, it's racism against anyone who has any culture and heritage they belong to.

And why would someone do that? Hatred, again: if you don't have that, and wish you did, you can either work toward it, or try to destroy what others have so you feel better about yourself.

Modernity is a failure, and those of us who have awakened are willing to look past the "free"/"not-free" dichotomy that Republicans, anarchists, large corporations, hippies, leftists, liberals, libertarians and even most far-right groups think is important. Freedom is an illusion in every government. What we want is a sensible social order that rewards the good and gets rid of the bad. We want to know that if we do well, we will see reward and be acknowledged by our neighbors; if someone does bad to us or another person, they'll be kicked out or hung before they can do it again. That's fairness, where "freedom" -- no one ever bothers to define this term -- means lots of people acting selfishly, causing chaos and then the good people suffer from the crime and disorder and the police state that results.

If you want an end to the totalitarian state, the best way to do it is to create a strong state that believes in order. Hitler tried to ban cigarettes and was unable to do so; in WWII Germany, people faced less rationing and privation than they did in the West. It was not a total state. True, enemies of the state were persecuted -- and let me be first to say I think the Holocaust was a big wrong and a big mistake -- but those who disagreed with the state but kept within the bounds of civil discourse felt no persecution. What would an anarchist state be like? A mob of people killing anyone accused of having anti-freedom opinions, no doubt, probably while accusing them of being a witch.

Our anarchist's behavior in his blog post shows us that's exactly the psychology he has. The guy from Summoning is trying to keep his band afloat. Both are essentially trying to fool the mob, one to gain a following and the other to keep the mob from lynching him and his band for political thoughtcrime. If the anarchists were honest, they'd admit they are the lynch mob he fears and present a far greater danger and worse option than a Fascist or National Socialist state.


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