Spencer’s ISE talk on Decentralization: Libertarian Socialist vs Far-Right

The Institution for Social Ecology (ISE), founded by Murray Bookckin, recently hosted me on a panel at their 2019 annual gathering. I spoke about experiences I had working against the Patriot/militia movement in Oregon in 2015 and 2016, who were espousing a program of Far Right decentralization. This posed special challenges to left-wing decentralists — like social ecologists and anarchists.

My presentation lasts about 20 minutes, and it starts around right after the 30:00 mark.

(I answer some questions too, and around 1:38:20 i explain some of the intricacies of cattle ranching politics, which i found fascinating.)

 

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“Antifa Panic”

I have a piece in the new European publication, The Battleground, about the attempts by Senator Ted Cruz and Donald “Cheeto Mussolini” Trump to get the federal goverment treat antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. It also looks at how the German antifa movement influenced the evolution of their US cousins as Anti-Racist Action wound down, and a new generation of antifascist activists arose.

“The United States is having its third wave of “Antifa panic” in as many years. Donald Trump’s 27 July tweet called for Antifa—short for antifascist activists—to be declared “a major Organization of Terror”.

This produced a pushback, especially in Germany, sending #IchbinAntifa trending on social media.

Antifa is not an organisation at all, but a decentralised, leaderless movement that opposes fascism and the far-right. Although most of its work is legal and non-violent, the movement is best known for occasional street fights with extremists.

Recently in the US, Antifa has become a bogeyman among conservatives, like 1950s anti-Communism.”

Read the full article at The Battleground

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.

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: January 15, 2018]

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). The articles that address antisemitism include:

“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 from Left 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 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.