“The U.S. Far Right’s 2018 Election Results: A Blind-Alley for the Alt Right”

“A large number of candidates with ties to the Far Right ran for office in the 2018 midterm elections, mostly as Republicans. They ranged from neonazis to mainstream Republicans who courted the Far Right for support.

This analysis looks at thirty-five candidates with documented Far Right ties. It found that eleven of them lost primaries, and twenty-four ran in the general election. While a number of candidates won their primaries, no non-incumbents with clear Far Right ties won office on the state or national level. And of the incumbents, only three were re-elected. At the same time, the Democrats re-took the U.S. House, breaking the Republican’s two-year domination of the Executive branch and both national legislative bodies. Clearly, 2018 showed that the electoral arena was not an avenue the Alt Right—or others on the Far Right—could use to advance political power. While Donald Trump gives their movement leverage, his surprise 2016 presidential victory has not translated into electoral successes for other candidates.”

Read the full analysis and election results at Political Research Associates.

New video interview on Splinter

The good people at Splinter did an interview with me recently. We talk about how many white people hold Alt Right-style views, the different organizing strategies that the Alt Right and Alt Lite use, and what everyday people can do to counter white nationalism.

“We Must Pressure Mainstream Forces to Stop Downplaying the Far Right”

In the light of the bombings of liberal figures, racist murder of two black folks, and the massacre in the Tree of Life synagogue, I argue that we must pressure mainstream groups to cut off the oxygen to the Far Right. There are three approaches we should focus on:

“One, the mainstream must push back against the demonizing and conspiratorial language used by Trump and others. Mass media outlets must stop allowing themselves to be a conduit for Trump’s lies (and, in some cases, stop actively working to promote them), and cease allowing the spread of demonizing and bigoted ideas in general. For example: Twitter could remove Trump for violating its terms of service, but it simply lacks the will. USA Today had no obligation to print a recent Trump op-ed on Medicare that was filled with lies.

Two, we must push mainstream conservatives to break links with the more extreme members of their party. For example, on October 12, a Manhattan GOP club hosted “alt-right” figure Gavin McInnes. This bigot has had a long career of openly calling for violence, and afterwards, his followers (at least one of whom was at Charlottesville) engaged in a gang-style, 30-on-3 attack against counterprotesters. This powerful GOP club in a posh neighborhood should be held accountable for bringing in violent actors.

Three, we must pressure digital companies to remove content in order to burst the echo chambers where far right activists have their views reinforced and are egged on to violence. The many instances where content is removed after violence shows that outside pressure is effective in forcing platforms to do it.”

Read the entire article at Truthout

“Rumors of Civil War: How Anti-Communist Conspiracies Imagine an Antifa Civil War on November 4”

Here is my analysis of the Far Right conspiracy theory that “antifa” will start a civil war on November 4; its relationship to classic anti-Communist conspiracies; and how “anti-communism” and “anti-marxism” are becoming new organizing themes for the Alt Right and Patriot movement.

“A conspiracy theory has spread like wildfire through the Far Right claiming that on November 4, ‘antifa’ will start a civil war and attempt to overthrow Donald Trump. The date is supposed to precede the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and the demonstrations are described as a prelude to establishing a Communist dictatorship. One website says, ‘they are planning to kill every single Trump voter, Conservative and gun owner.’ The different permutations of the conspiracy show the fears of the Far Right. But, more dangerously, these false claims that antifa will initiate a wave of violence are a kind of projection­; in reality, the conspiracy is being used to encourage Far Right activists to harm non-violent Leftist protestors. And threats of violence are pouring in on social media.”

Read the entire article at Political Research Associates

Video of “The Far Right Today in the U.S. and New York City”

The video of my talk at Verso Books on June 28, 2017, “The Far Right Today in the U.S. and New York City,” is now online.

Apparently people attempted to pressure Verso to cancel the talk beforehand.

Afterward, Gavin McInnes seems to have ordered his keyboard kommandos to harass me. You can really tell what’s on the Alt Right’s mind by their comments: Jews, people’s body size, and violence. Pretty funny overall.

The talk is about 40 minutes long, and the Q&A goes on for an hour.

“Die extreme Rechte der USA nach Trumps Wahlsieg”

“Im Fahrwasser Donald Trumps erlebt die radikale Rechte in den USA derzeit eine gesellschaftliche Relevanz wie zuletzt in den neunziger Jahren des vergangenen Jahrhunderts. Der neuerliche Aufschwung begann 2015 zeitgleich mit Trumps Präsidentschaftskandidatur und seinem Versprechen, eine Grenzmauer zwischen den USA und Mexiko zu errichten. Die wichtigste Rolle spielt in diesem Zusammenhang das Erstarken der „Alt Right“-Bewegung, eines internetversierten Zusammenschlusses weißer Nationalist_innen, Antisemit_innen und Anti-Feminist_innen, der die amerikanische Rechte auf eine neue soziale Basis gestellt hat.

„Alt Right“ steht über den hochrangigen Berater Steve Bannon mit der Trump Administration in enger Verbindung. „Alt Right“ hat es als aufstrebendes Bündnis aus Faschisten_innen und anderen weißen Nationalist_innen geschafft, sich im Internet als einflussreiche Präsenz zu etablieren und versucht nun, sich auch außerhalb dessen zu organisieren. Dabei zeigt „Alt Right“, obwohl ursprünglich in einer explizit faschistisch und nationalistisch geprägten Szene zu verorten, keine Nazirhetorik. Innerhalb der Sozialen Medien haben sie es geschafft, ihre Botschaften erfolgreich zu verbreiten. Die Bewegung versteht sich dabei darauf, Anhänger_innen verschiedenster ideologischer Anschauungen zu vereinen. Darunter auch bekennende Neonazis wie Andrew Anglin von der nationalistischen Website „Daily Stormer“. Die wichtigste intellektuelle Figur ist Richard Spencer, ein Faschist, der große ideologische Schnittmengen mit der europäischen “Identitären Bewegung” (IB) aufweist. Folgerichtig lud dieser 2013, anlässlich der von ihm jährlich organisierten „National Policy Institute Conference“, den ultrarechten französischen Theoretiker und Vordenker der „Neuen Rechten“ Alain de Benoist ein.”

Read the rest at Antifaschistisches Infoblatt

Audio of talk: “Anti/Fascism in the USA”

An 40 minute audio recording of my talk “Anti/Fascism in the USA,” recorded in Montreal in April 2017, is now online. I cover how Trump’s presidential campaign energized white nationalists; the question of “Is Trump a fascist?”; the Trump administration’s appointees and their connections to white nationalist and right-wing populist politics; the rise in hate crimes; a detailed overview of the different fascist and white nationalist factions, including the Alt Right; and the re-emergence of the militant antifascist movement.

Listen to it on Submedia.

Writings on Antisemitism

[updated: July 12, 2021]

Since my op-ed in the Forward on has been well-received, I thought I’d throw together a list of my writings that specifically address issues of  antisemitism and left-wing movements. (A list of all of my recent work is here). My most comprehensive, and possibly final, statement on the matter of Left Antisemitism is here:
“Looking Left at Antisemitism,” Journal of Social Justice, vol. 9, June 2020

Other articles that address antisemitism in various ways on both the Left and Right include:

“I’ve Been Tracking the Far Right for Years. Then Lin Wood ‘Exposed’ Me as the QAnon Shaman,”Daily Beast, January 12, 2021
A humorous story about how a decades-old conspiracy theory about me – which started out as explicitly antisemitic before becoming “deantisemitized” – briefly ended up on the national stage right afer the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol takeover.

“The Anti-Black and Anti-Semitic History of ‘Outside Agitators’: An Interview with Spencer Sunshine,” It’s Going Down, June 2, 2020
In this interview I explain how Trump’s blaming of “antifa” for the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests is a conspiracy theory ultimately based in antisemitism.

“Steve Bannon’s ‘Washed Out’ Antisemitism,” Political Research Associates, January 12, 2018
An analysis of accusations of antisemitism against Bannon. They include his promotion of the Alt Right, Bannon and Breitbart‘s use of antisemitic narrative structures and code words, a Trump campaign speech and ad, his prejudiced personal expressions, proto-fascist intellectual influences (inc. Maurras and Guénon), his relationship with European Far Right parties, endorsements by antisemites, the Breitbart comments section & the website’s singling out of Jews as such.

The Left Must Root Out Anti-Semitism In Its Ranks,” Forward, June 1, 2017
A call for the Left to ban Holocaust Deniers and antisemitic conspiracy theorists from its venues and publications.

Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Christopher Bollyn to Speak at the Brooklyn Commons,” spencersunshine.com, September 5, 2016
Outline of a former editor at Willis Carto’s neo-Nazi media empire, Christopher Bollyn, who spoke at a “progressive” Brooklyn venue.

Drawing Lines Against Racism and Fascism,” Political Research Associates, March 5, 2015.
What are the criteria we should use when excluding antisemites, among others, from left-wing spaces?

Campus Profile—Alison Weir: If Americans Knew,” Political Research Associates, 2014
Profile of a famous crypto-antisemite who is frequently given a pass by Left circles. Part of the Constructing Campus Conflict report.

The Right Hand of Occupy Wall Street: From Libertarians to Nazis, the Fact and Fiction of Right-Wing Involvement,” Public Eye, Winter 2014, pages 9-14, 18; online: February 23, 2014
20 on the Right in Occupy,” Political Research Associates, February 13, 2014
Occupied With Conspiracies? The Occupy Movement, Populist Anti-Elitism, and the Conspiracy Theorists,” Shift, December 11, 2011
Three articles which address why antisemites and other rightists were attracted to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Rebranding Fascism: National-Anarchists,” Public Eye, vol. 23, no. 4, Winter 2008, 1, 12–19
Profile of a crypto-fascist group that codes its antisemitism as “anti-zionism” in order to engage in entryist tactics.

“The Left Must Root Out Anti-Semitism In Its Ranks”

I have an op-ed in the Forward encouraging people to speak out against antisemitic conspiracy theorists who appear on Leftist platforms – like the Left Forum and Brooklyn Commons. While it’s almost always a super-frustrating experience, you really can isolate these people from most left-wing platforms.

“In the last year, numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists have appeared at left-leaning venues in New York City. As a monitor of far right politics, I keep track of this sort of thing, and I’ve noticed an significant increase in the number of such events.

But unlike the other bigots energized in the Trump era, these anti-Semites are seeking audiences among the capital-L “Left” — anarchists, Marxists, socialists, and participants in social movements such as Occupy Wall Street. But people inside the Left are increasingly speaking out, and if more continue to, the anti-Semites can be made unwelcome.”

Read the rest in the Forward.