Disappointing anti-fascism

A comment I left on the Who Makes The Nazis blog.

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I’m a little disappointed that my article, “Of Runes and Men“, which you reposted from Red Mist a year ago did not stimulate any substantial discussion. Instead, we’re back to business as usual: musicians and their far right links and sentiments are listed, and the notion is put forward that their gigs must be stopped – including in cooperation with councillors, clerics, and the like.

I was also pointed to comments on my article at Indymedia, but they did not offer anything beyond pointing out minor inaccuracies (e.g. Sotos only joined Whitehouse later rather than being a “pioneer” of power electronics) and claiming that this would “discredit” me. I also sensed a certain allergy on behalf of anti-fascists to the idea of reconsidering one’s arguments and – god beware – changing one’s line of action.

No one addressed my core arguments, which – in a nutshell – were:

1) that fascism is less defined by the ideas that fascists choose to delude themselves with than by what it does. This has implications on how we are to treat insubstantial phenomena such as neofolk.
2) that the sub-Gramscianism of the New Right never worked and never will.
3) that the (liberal) popular front tactic re-enacted in miniature by anti-fascists is precisely the wrong way to counter the far right.

I was hoping for an article that would address and counter my arguments.

I also tried to leave a comment to the entirely misinformed Love Music Hate Racism call on its campaign website. Perhaps predictably, it never saw the light of day – which is consistent with the LMHR/UAF/SWP habit of suppressing debate as to not “confuse” activists.

The anti-fascists remind me of a passage from the Sartre essay “Jew and anti-Semite” that I read recently (my translation):

“The thinking man racks his brains and groans. He knows that his contemplations will always just remain possibilities rather than certainties, and that other considerations will call everything into question again. He never knows where he is going, he is ‘open’ to everything, and the world thinks of him as a procrastinator. But some people are drawn towards the eternal rigour of rocks. They want to be unswerving and intransigent like boulders and shy away from change: for where might such change lead them?

It is a case of primal fear of the self, a dread of truth.[…] Because they fear logic, they yearn for a way of life where logic and research play a subordinate role, where one never searches for what one has not already found, where one never becomes what one has not already been. There is only one way to obtain this: passion.

Only the rush induced by a strong emotion provides instant certainty, can keep logic in check, can defy knowledge gained from experience and persist through one’s entire life.”

Now, obviously I am not citing this in order to liken anti-fascists to anti-Semites, which would be absurd. What I do want to illustrate with this excerpt is the unwillingness of many leftists to actually think, to debate, to review their positions, to progress and evolve. They are content with rallying the troops around bogeymen just to keep them going. But Marxism means materialist analysis, not idealism and hysteria. Tactics are not the same as strategy or dogma – they need to be constantly reviewed. And carrying on is not the same as advancing.

I hope you will take this as a comradely criticism, not as an attack.

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