Thanks to Ni patrie ni frontières in France, a new anthology of my writings about antisemitism has just been released: Des rouges, des bruns et des rouges-bruns: L’antisémitisme aux Etats-Unis au XXie siècle (Reds, Browns, and Red/Browns: Antisemitism in the United States in the 21st Century). Ordering information is here.
In addition to this French edition, a revised version of this in English will be released in 2024 on No Pasaran in Britain.
As part of my ongoing series, I ask Heidi Beirich about the Far Right’s changes since the 1990s, including how the difference between the margins and mainstream has collapsed, why it has become increasingly transnational, and what’s needed to combat it today.
Beirich co-founded the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism to monitor transnational hate movements, was solicited to submit written testimony to the 1/6 Committee & is the former head of the SPLC Intelligence Project.
The increasing embrace by White Supremacists of environmentalism, which they use to justify their racist ideologies—dubbed “ecofascism”—is on the lips of many today. This has been driven by its mention in the manifestos connected to White Supremacist massacres in El Paso, Texas and Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019; between the two, 74 were murdered. Additionally, the new interest paid by fascists in Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, also shows rising interest in this trend.
Because of this, historian and anarchist Peter Staudenmaier’s book is a timely reminder that ecofascism is not just not a new problem, but also one that provides a bridge between the far-Right and the Left and anarchists. His book is a call, in the best radical environmental style, to blockade that bridge and stop fascists from entering radical circles.
I know i’ve been significantly more quiet than normal, but it looks like 2023 is going to be a big year for me. Right now my writings are largely limited to my Patreon, which starts at $2/month—although I will send anyone essays for free which they are interested in reading if they can’t quite afford to support me right now.
My annual wrap-up of the U.S. Far Right is out. It looks at the increasingly autonomous MAGA movement; the 1/6 committee and arrests; Trump & Musk’s shenanigans; Far Right massacres and other violence; antisemitic incidents; and new neo-Nazi groups.
“As in past years, the U.S. far right has continued to have a political impact far in excess of anything seen before Donald Trump’s presidential term. What was new in 2022 was that activists who emerged from his base have also achieved a level of autonomy from their leader which they had not seen before. However, this year’s most visible spotlight on the far right was the January 6 committee, which culminated in the recommendation that Trump be charged with federal crimes. Additionally, there have also been numerous arrests, trials and sentences related to the Capitol breach. While what’s now called the “MAGA Movement” has outlived its leader’s fall from power, it remains to be seen what effect his 2024 presidential campaign will have on it — especially after the disappointing midterms. The year has also been marked by the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. Alongside the boost to Christian nationalism this provided, far right groups have targeted LGBTQ+ events this year, focusing on drag shows. And extreme violence also reared its head again as two significant far right massacres marked the year.”
For German readers, I have a new piece in Antifa Infoblatt #134 which has just been put online.
“2014, nachdem die Polizei einen schwarzen Teenager in Ferguson, Missouri ermordete, begann die erste Protestwelle der BLM Bewegung, die nach ein paar Jahren aber wieder abebbte. Die zweite Welle, die bis heute anhält, begann im Mai 2020, nachdem gefilmt wurde, wie der schwarze George Floyd von einem weißen Polizeibeamten zu Tode gewürgt wurde. Eine spontane, landesweite Protestwelle – die anfangs so heftig war, dass sie einer revolutionären Situation glich – brach aus und gewann eine breite Unterstützung in der Bevölkerung.
Drei Monate nach Floyds Tod entstanden Filmaufnahmen, die zeigten, wie dem schwarze Jacob Blake in der Kleinstadt Kenosha, Wisconsin von einem weißen Polizisten mehrfach in den Rücken geschossen wurde. Es folgten neuerliche BLM-Proteste. Von da an begannen bewaffnete rechte Gruppen zu den Demonstration zu kommen, um die Protestierenden einzuschüchtern (in einigen Situationen waren die BLM-Aktivisten ebenfalls bewaffnet). In Kenosha rief eine rechte Miliz dazu auf, sie bei ihrem Vorgehen gegen eine BLM Demo zu unterstützen. Zu jenen, die dem Aufruf folgten, gehörte der 17-jährige Kyle Rittenhouse.”
“On August 12, 2017, the largest fascist-led rally in the United States in many decades was held in Charlottesville, Virginia. What happened shocked the country out of its complacency about how right-wing politics were unfolding under then-President Donald Trump, and foretold the years of far right violence to come. Charlottesville’s effects still reverberate today, both on those who were present and in local and national politics. And there is a direct line from that rally to the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. … Tactically, there is obviously no shortage of examples of the kind of violence seen at Unite the Right in the country’s history. But militant movements don’t arise out of thin air, and they almost always build on previous actions as they motivate themselves and get everything into alignment. Charlottesville stood out because, for the first time since the turn of the century, this kind of violence was seen so brazenly at a large, far right public demonstration. What the SPLC’s Hannah Gais called “a disavowal of traditional politics and the democratic process, combined with decentralized violence” was the door that Charlottesville opened at the beginning of Trump’s administration. January 6 was what walked through at the end.”
On Saturday, a white supremacist walked into a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, and opened fire. He killed ten people and wounded three others; eleven of his victims were Black. The horrific attack showed the influence of other massacres by the terrorist wing of the “alt-right” that took place during the Trump presidency. The conspiratorial ideology of these attacks, once fringe, now can be found in the mainstream right wing. They also fit within the much longer history of anti-Black lynchings and white supremacist violence that have been occurring for centuries.
Six similar far right attacks killed 86 people in 2018 and 2019. Their intended targets were Muslims (51 killed in Christchurch, New Zealand), Latino immigrants (23 in El Paso) and Jews (including 11 in Pittsburgh). The Christchurch massacre set up a template that other white supremacists have followed: writing a lengthy manifesto and placing it on an online platform associated with the alt-right before the violence, and then livestreaming the attack.
Amazon will bring almost anything to your door in a day. Despitenumerousexposés, that still includes Nazi books running the gauntlet from “classic” tomes of Hitler-era Germany to standard post-war white supremacist texts up through alt-right writers. … Many classics of Nazi Germany are available, not from scholarly presses with appropriate framing but from racist publishers. Neo-Nazis can enjoy A New Nobility of Blood and Soil by Walther Darré, the Nazi regime’s agriculture minister, or the works of the Nazi economist Gottfried Feder. Those who prefer what’s described as “one of the most highly prized books of the Aryan home” can order The Yearly Celebrations and Life in the SS Family. It has a five-star rating and free shipping with Prime.
The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol takeover have subpoenaed a wide variety of people, from Trump officials to grassroots activists. And on January 19, 2022, two more were called: Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, the leaders of the “Groyper” movement, a white supremacist outgrowth of the “alt-right.” Fuentes believes that “genocide” is being committed against white people, and rails against immigration, the “LGBTQ agenda” and feminism. While relatively minor characters on the national stage, Fuentes and Casey are important to know about for three reasons.
The first is that the Groypers are one of the more successful groups among the openly white supremacist wing of the alt-right, and they have been able to attract mainstream support. The second is if Fuentes and Casey “were involved in the planning and coordination of the January 6 attack … it would show tight collaboration between true white supremacists and the former administration,” according to Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. Third, the committee specifically pointed out that Fuentes and Casey had “received tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer.” Calling for — and then cheering on — the takeover of the Capitol after receiving foreign funding would put them in a different category than many of the other involved groups which seem to lack foreign financial connections.