What will happen to the U.S. neo-Nazi movement if its largest party collapses?
“For the first time in decades, it is possible that there will be no U.S. neo-Nazi party large enough to hold public rallies. In a story worthy of a plot-twisting HBO special, Black civil rights activist James Stern convinced the leader of the largest U.S. neo-Nazi party, the National Socialist Movement (NSM), to officially make him their president in order to help protect the party from a lawsuit. Afterward, he said, ‘As a Black man, I took over a neo-Nazi group and outsmarted them,’ and that he intends to dismantle the group from within.
The NSM is important for opponents of the far right to watch because it is the largest open neo-Nazi group in the United States. As such, it is the furthest stop for a public, organized group on the right wing of the political spectrum. And after the 2018 collapse of the Traditionalist Worker Party, another large fascist party, the NSM has been the only neo-Nazi group able to hold public demonstrations of even a moderate size.”
I have a new piece that analyzes claims of antisemitism against Steve Bannon, a former member of the Trump White House and Breitbart CEO. The include Bannon’s promotion of the Alt Right, his 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 and the website’s singling out of Jews as such.
The year 2017 was crazy and fucked up. Before I forgot it all, I wanted to write it down. So I made a timeline of what I thought were the most important or visible fascist, Alt Right, and antifa events during the year. Relive at your own peril.
A number of progressive organizers have portrayed the fascist wing of the Alt Right, and related White Nationalists, as a merely a condensed form of the usual White supremacy in the United States. I explain why this is a mistaken perception of their political views, and why this matters in formulating strategies of resistance.
“The new wave of avowed White nationalists who have been energized by Donald Trump—most prominently the Alt Right—have held demonstrations across the United States, most famously in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Progressive activists have struggled to conceptualize and oppose the movement, and there have been a variety of different responses to it. However, some of these responses show a deep misunderstanding by progressives of what the Alt Right and other White nationalists believe. To misunderstand the multifaceted politics of fascism—and in particular, to ignore antisemitism—is to fail to comprehend the motivations and actions of the Alt Right and other White nationalists. It can also create a situation in which those who are targeted are left to fend off their would-be oppressors without solidarity.”
There’s been many “This is the last straw for the Alt Right!” articles, starting well before Trump took power. I’ve held my breath and said “Not yet” each time, but now I’m placing my bet. Post-Charlottesville there has a been, for the first time, a massive slew of arrests and firings, the loss of numerous internet platforms, movement leaders distancing themselves from the tarnished brand, the cancellation of two national rallies, Bannon’s departure from the White House and – for the first time – mass mobilizations against them, as we’ve seen in Boston and now San Francisco. They wanted to defend General Lee in Charlottesville, and I hope that what they got was their own private Gettysburg.
“The aftermath of the white nationalist ‘Unite the Right’ demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 has dealt a major blow to the ‘alt-right,’ a far-right brand of politics that has coalesced around ideas based in white nationalism, xenophobia and misogyny. After many months of rapid expansion, the unfolding events seem to have broken the movement’s momentum. While the result of two new far right Bay Area rallies this weekend remain to be seen, if the left is lucky and the correct cards are dealt, this may turn out to be the Gettysburg of those who are called the ‘alt-right.'”