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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:18 pm
by American Dream
Democracy tanks: pro-Russian troops in Donetsk this year. Photo by Andrew Butko

How Kremlin Democracy Gets Foreign Approval

Among Russia’s growing band of loyal “election observers” is a German politician convicted of voter fraud and a Belgian who used to like Hitler but now prefers Stalin

“Watching how inhabitants of the republic vote, the observer from Belgium, Kris Roman, was surprised that elections in our state were completely transparent,” said the female voice. “According to him, It is very different in the European Union in the European Union.”

Belgian election “observer” Kris Roman also wears his colors

But this was an election with just one real candidate in the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic, one of two breakaway regions of Ukraine’s Donbass region run by Russian-backed separatists. The US and European governments have dismissed these so-called elections as an illegal “sham.” And strikingly, Kris Roman, the Belgian election observer, was wearing a coat emblazoned with the word “Russia” as he did his rounds.

“I see that it is absolutely clean and open, even more serious than how we vote in the European Union because in Europe we vote via a computer and no one knows who they vote for,” Roman told the television channel.

Kris Roman was wearing a coat emblazoned with the word “Russia” as he did his rounds

It was the kind of endorsement the separatist authorities were hoping for, from Roman and the nearly 100 other foreigners they invited to “observe” the elections in Donetsk and the other breakaway region of Luhansk on November 11.

No matter how much they rig the result, the Kremlin and its allies crave the veneer of legitimacy they can achieve by holding elections — and having outside monitors helps create the desired look. But international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), refused to send monitors for the votes in the two breakaway regions in the Donbass. They took the same position for the widely-condemned referendum that Russia organized in Crimea, following its annexation of the peninsula in 2014. Both violated Ukrainian law.

Love from Moscow

To deal with this, Moscow has cultivated its own, alternative group of international “observers” to provide a stamp of approval, with the added benefit that their presence can be used by Kremlin information campaigns.

Kris Roman is one of the more outspoken of these pro-Moscow monitors. “On my way to Donetsk!” Donbass is Russia! Crimea is Russia!,” he declared on his social media page, before leaving for his mission in the breakaway territories — from Moscow.

A former Belgian politician — and an electrician before that — Roman runs his own pro-Russian think tank with the stated aim of creating a “white Europe” from Spain to Vladivostok.

He outdoes even the most nationalist of Russian politicians. “If a man loves a woman, he doesn’t necessarily ‘know’ why he loves her,” Roman told one Russian interviewer, when asked why he was so supportive of the country. “He simply loves her.”

As the recent election exercises in the Donbass made clear, observing these Russian-organized “votes” has become a rallying cause for an expanding group of anti-establishment figures from around the world. It has led to some unlikely partnerships too.

During the most recent elections in Donetsk, members of Germany’s “The Left” party and Brazilian communists worked alongside representatives of Germany’s far-right “Alternative for Deutschland” (AfD), as well as Belgium’s right-wing Flemish nationalist “Vlaams Belang” party and the “Lega Norda” party of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

If a man loves a woman, he doesn’t ‘know’ why he loves her. He simply loves her.” Belgian election “observer” Kris Roman, on why he loves Russia

Among those invited were two men convicted of offenses in their home countries — including one for election fraud. German Left party member Andreas Maurer, an outspoken advocate of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, was found guilty this summer of filling in voters’ postal ballots. Johan Bäckman, a pro-Kremlin Finnish activist, was convicted of defaming and harassing Finnish journalist Jessika Aro in response to her reporting of Russian disinformation activities in the country.

Given their ideological differences, it might seem hard to imagine how these “observers” can work together. They are united, though, by their position on Russia, according to Anton Shekhovtsov, a Ukrainian political analyst who authored a report on the observers for the European Platform for Democratic Elections, an umbrella group of civil society organizations from Europe and the former Soviet Union. “What they all have in common is anti-establishment and pro-Kremlin sentiment,” Shekhovtsov said.

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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:10 pm
by American Dream
Fascism Today Conversation Part 2: Author Shane Burley interviews Matthew N. Lyons


Lyons: ...In recent decades, far rightists have periodically tried to link up with leftists around anti-imperialism and related issues. The 2002 book My Enemy’s Enemy is primarily an exposé of far right forces and tendencies in the anti-globalization movement. In 1999, for example, Matt Hale of the neonazi World Church of the Creator voiced support for the anti-globalization protests in Seattle. A couple of years later, William Pierce’s National Alliance sponsored a front group called the Anti-Globalism Action Network. Since the start of the civil war in Syria, fascists in both North America and Europe have converged with some left groups such as Workers World Party around shared support for Assad’s government as a supposed bulwark against western imperialism. In Italy, leftist and rightist supporters of Assad have held demonstrations together. It’s a poisonous development that’s seriously damaging for efforts to advance a genuinely liberatory anti-imperialism.

Also seriously damaging is that critiques of imperialism rooted in far right ideology have circulated and gained legitimacy among a lot of people who think of themselves as on the left. A lot of right-wing conspiracy theories about “globalist elites” (which is often a code-phrase for Jews) have been repackaged to appeal to leftist audiences, by outfits such as and the Voltaire Network, and by researchers such as Webster Tarpley and William Engdahl, both of whom are former members of the Lyndon LaRouche network. The recent report on red-brown alliances by the anarchist blogger “Vagabond” (which I recently reviewed on Three Way Fight) includes extensive documentation about this.

Burley: One of the successes that the European New Right (ENR), and by extension the alt-right, had was in reframing fascist politics in leftist jargon. They focused very heavily on post-colonialism, supporting national liberation movements and issues like indigenous sovereignty. Is this simply a disingenuous attempt at entryism? Have they actually had any success connecting with indigenous resistance movements? At the same time, how can anti-fascists take a strong analysis of colonialism into that work?

Lyons: To some extent, the ENR’s embrace of “indigenous sovereignty” and “diversity” is disingenuous, in that it is a calculated move to deflect charges of racism. So for example, European New Rightists such as Alain de Benoist have argued that, in calling for ethnic separatism and exclusion of non-European immigrants, they are simply defending “indigenous” European cultures against the oppressive cultural homogenization being forced on them by global capitalism. Some far rightists, such as Guillaume Faye and Michael O’Meara, have actually criticized this as a hypocritical concession to liberalism. As far as the alt-right goes, there’s been less hypocrisy, in that most alt-rightists really aren’t concerned about hiding their white supremacist beliefs.

But it’s not just a matter of hypocrisy. Because far right ethnic separatism really does clash with the policies and interests of global capitalist elites. This conflict with global capitalism isn’t about dismantling economic exploitation, but it’s a disagreement about how economic exploitation will be structured and how the benefits will be distributed. This genuine conflict is important and we tend to miss it if we only focus on the hypocrisy.

Has the ENR or the alt-right had any success connecting with indigenous resistance movements? Not that I’m aware of. But I certainly wouldn’t discount it as a possibility. It depends on what you mean by “indigenous resistance movements,” but there are plenty of right-wing political organizations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and some among communities of color in Europe and North America, and some of them share the ENR and alt-right’s combination of anti-egalitarianism and hostility to “globalist elites.” Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was popular among Third Positionists, and he hosted neonazis at some political conferences. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam met with neonazi leader Tom Metzger in the 1980s and had a cordial relationship with the Lyndon LaRouche organization for a while in the 1990s. It’s not hard to imagine similar dynamics happening again.

How can antifascists put forward strong anti-colonial politics? For one thing, it’s crucial to analyze colonialism and imperialism as systems of exploitation and violence — rooted in the system of capitalism — rather than try to explain them in terms of subjective factors such as greed, or a specific policy such as neoliberalism, or the secret machinations of some group of evildoers. Those are all superficial, subjectivist explanations, and are the space where liberal (i.e. non-leftist) and far right critiques of the established order converge.

Coupled with that, we need to look critically at who the supposed anti-imperialist or anti-colonialist forces are and what they stand for. Just because they’re at odds with the U.S. government doesn’t make them anti-imperialist, and just because they’re anti-imperialist doesn’t mean they represent any sort of liberatory alternative. If the Ba’ath government of Syria is anti-imperialist, why did it torture people for the CIA? Why did it impose neoliberal policies? Why does it have a history of massacring Palestinians — not to mention Syrians?

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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:28 am
by American Dream

More than half million killed in Syria since 2011

Submitted by WW4 Report on Wed, 12/12/2018

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights issued a statistical report on the number of Syrian war victims on the occasion of World Human Rights Day Dec. 10. The statistics show that 560,000 people have been killed since March 2011, including civilians, soldiers, rebel fighters, and "martyrs" who died under torture in the regime prisons. The Observatory found: "Over 93 months...Syrians have been crushed between the jaws of death, with each day declaring a decrease in their numbers..." The Observatory documented the deaths of 104,000 Syrians in the regime's prisons, likely under torture in most cases, with 83% executed in these prisons between May 2013 and October 2015. In this period, 30,000 were killed in Saydnaya prison alone, according to the Observatory. The remainder of the total were killed in fighting, with civilians constituting a large plurality at 111,330. The rest were from various armed factions.

"The human toll at the hands of the regime army and allied militias has reached 43,575 civilians, in addition to the deaths of 25,581 civilians killed by warplanes and helicopters. With air-strikes and rocket attacks, Russia has killed 7,988 civilians, while the International Coalition has killed 3,709 civilians with air-strikes. During its bombardments inside Syria, Turkey killed 836 civilians, and 415 Syrians have been killed by Turkish border guards."

The report said that rebel groups had killed 7,807 civilians, while ISIS has killed 5,356 civilians.

About 12 million have been displaced, including 5.6 million who are refugees, mostly in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. (The Syrian Observer, AP, Dec. 11)

A figure of approximately 500,000 dead in the Syrian war is generally accepted by international experts. Other sources have arrived at significantly higher figures for the number killed in air-strikes by Russia and the US.

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:04 pm
by American Dream
Russia Is Co-opting Angry Young Men

Fight clubs, neo-Nazi soccer hooligans, and motorcycle gangs serve as conduits for the Kremlin’s influence operations in Western countries.

Members of the Night Wolves motorcycle group pose on top of a Red Army tank.

Neo-Nazis, skinheads, soccer hooligans and similar violence-prone groups on the radical right also have the potential to serve as ready, often unwitting, Kremlin agents of influence who can be manipulated to undermine Western democratic institutions. The Kremlin makes use of far-right groups for a number of reasons. First, these groups can be manipulated and indoctrinated through social media, which makes them ripe targets for organizations like the Internet Research Agency, whose trolls can mobilize their members with carefully crafted messaging. Second, these groups are likely to find the Kremlin’s ideology of “traditional Russian values” appealing, particularly when contrasted with Western liberal values such as individual rights, tolerance, and self-expression. Right-wing groups are more easily drawn into the Russian orbit with anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-feminist rhetoric and by a narrative that stresses a collectivist, tribal, and racially exclusive worldview.

Finally, the Western radical right is attractive to the Kremlin not only because it provides a pool of recruits—often angry young white men—for stirring up social protests, but also because it serves as a backdoor for establishing ties with far-right political parties and anti-establishment politicians. The Kremlin views such politicians—like France’s Marine Le Pen, Germany’s Frauke Petry, and Italy’s Matteo Salvini—as battering rams that can be used to demolish democratic institutions and to challenge the political establishment’s support for nato, the EU, and transatlantic ties. Although the Kremlin’s effort to co-opt Western politicians is beyond the scope of this article, it is a key reason why Russia invests resources in cultivating fringe radicals in the West.

For obvious reasons, however, the Kremlin tries to hide its support for far-right groups, both in Russia and elsewhere. A BBC documentary on Russian neo-Nazi soccer hooligans secretly recorded the leader of Moscow’s Spartak “ultras” explaining that his army of followers served as “Putin’s foot soldiers.” Shortly after the documentary aired, Russian police issued a call for all those who had been interviewed in the film to report immediately to local stations across Russia and sign forms saying they had been coerced into lying by the BBC.

Despite efforts to hide such ties, the evidence of the Russian state’s support for far-right circles across Europe is mounting. István Györkös, a Hungarian neo-Nazi who leads a far-right paramilitary group called the Hungarian National Front, serves as a perfect example of the sort of radical militant Russia’s intelligence services target. The Hungarian National Front is a neo-Nazi hate group that glorifies the Waffen-SS and regularly attacks the United States, Jews, LGBTQ persons, and liberals. It holds paramilitary combat-training sessions and extols Hungary’s fascist Arrow Cross movement, which was active in the 1930s and during World War II. Although it is unclear exactly how Györkös’s ties to Russian intelligence were first established, in 2012 Györkös launched a website called, which glorified Putin’s Russia and began disseminating Kremlin propaganda.

In October 2016, Hungarian law-enforcement officers arrived at Györkös’s home to investigate reports of illegal weapons use on his property. In the ensuing confrontation, Györkös shot one of the detectives, prompting a wide-ranging investigation in which Hungarian authorities discovered that Györkös had regularly been holding combat training sessions for members of the Hungarian National Front in the woods outside his home. More shockingly, the authorities learned that these exercises were attended by active GRU officers who were serving under diplomatic cover at the Russian Embassy in Budapest.

Similar cases have been documented in other European countries. In Sweden, when law enforcement authorities investigated a bomb attack on a refugee center in the western town of Gothenburg in January 2017, they discovered that the neo-Nazis who had perpetrated the attack had received weapons training from a Russian paramilitary group. The group, Partizan, is tolerated by the authorities and operates freely in Russia. Its weapons-training courses are run on behalf of an ultranationalist organization called the Russian Imperial Movement, which was actively involved in the Russian war in eastern Ukraineand whose current geopolitical aim, according to one member, is to create a “Right Wing International.” In Denmark, law-enforcement authorities learned that the leader of the Danish far-right National Front, Lars Agerbak, also received weapons training in Russia. After being convicted for breaking gun laws in Denmark, Agerbak moved to Russia. Although these may seem like isolated cases, the far-right community in Europe is large and growing, and its ties to the Russian state are commonplace. In the Czech Republic, the radical-right and staunchly pro-Russian Czechoslovak Soldiers in Reserves, which, like the Hungarian National Front, regularly organizes combat training, was estimated in 2015 to have 6000 members.

In the United States too, the alt-right and Kremlin ideologues share a common cause. While many of these ties are the result of mutual admiration more than active recruitment, the recent charges against the gun-rights advocate Maria Butina for serving as a Russian agent prove the Kremlin is also actively seeking to cultivate groups on the American right.

Trump, Putin, and the “Alt-Right International”

Fringe-right groups already consider the Kremlin an ally. At the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, chants of “Russia is our friend!” were commonplace. Richard Spencer, who led the Charlottesville rally and directs an alt-right organization called the National Policy Institute, has praised Putin as a protector of the white race. His website,, features such articles as “Why Anti-Racism is Nothing but a Lie” and defends the alt-right’s associations with Putin by arguing that “Russia is one of the few countries left that supports and upholds Pro-European values such as strength, unity, racial awareness, etc.” Similarly, the alt-right figure Alex Jones fawns over Putin and has hosted the Kremlin’s court ideologue Alexander Dugin on his show. Even the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is seen in a positive light by American right-wing groups, which portray him as a savior of Christian minorities, echoing a common Kremlin propaganda line. Matthew Heimbach, an American white nationalist who has extensively praised Putin, sums up the alt-right’s views when he says “I see Russia as kind of the axis for nationalists … and that’s not just nationalists that are white—that’s all nationalists.”

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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:57 am
by American Dream
Between Socialism and Barbarism

ImageFrancis Parker Yockey was the first ideologue to propose an alliance between the far-right and Russia during the Cold War, going against the grain of the John Birch Society and other traditionally reactionary groups. Yockey defined his ideas in “Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics” that was published in 1948. Essentially, Yockey advocated a Eurasianism that has gained currency once again in the writings of Alexander Dugin and other far-right ideologues in Russia. Like the Birchers, Yockey was hostile to Bolshevism but saw it as a political philosophy at odds with the Russian soul. His dream was a new Europe extending from London to Moscow that broke with the new American hegemon and that would be based on neo-fascism. To begin spreading his gospel, he met with Oswald Mosley who was thinking along the same lines. No longer a “British Firster”, Mosley had developed a pan-Europeanist program in a book titled “The Alternative”.

Yockey created a group called the European Liberation Front (ELF) that considered the possibility of forming guerrilla groups in West Germany that would collaborate with the Soviet military against the American occupation. One scholar believed that the ELF was being financed in part by the USSR. In the ELF Manifesto, Yockey blamed the “Asiatic elements” and Jews in Russia that were an obstacle to it being the leader of a reborn fascist Europe. When the show trial dramatized by Costa-Gravas in “The Confession” was held in Czechoslovakia in 1952 against mostly Jewish CP members, including Rudolf Slansky, Yockey was ecstatic since he saw this as proof that Russia was finally purging its Jewish-Bolshevik elements. Like many of Putin’s supporters on the left, Yockey became an ardent advocate of Third World liberation struggles. Shortly before his death in 1960, he went to Cuba to try to set up a meeting with Castro.

His pro-Soviet positions were embraced by other fascists. The National Renaissance Party (NRP) was sympathetic to Russia as well. Like Yockey, they argued that since the Kremlin was against the Jews, it couldn’t be all bad. James Madole, the founder of the NRP and a figure just as obscure as Yockey, developed close ties to the Soviet consulate in New York and even tried to convince the press officer about how such a neo-Nazi group could be a solid ally in a war against the Jews.

More concerned about Yockey’s overtures to the Kremlin and Fidel Castro than to someone like Mosley, the FBI arrested him in 1960. While in custody, he ended his life by taking a cyanide pill.

Clearly, men like Yockey and Madole were insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Despite the brief periods during the Weimar Republic when a misbegotten CP flirted with the Freikorps, and later when the USSR and Nazi Germany were bound to another by a non-aggression pact, the Kremlin saw the far-right as its enemy.

It was only in the post-Yeltsin era that such bridges began being built between Russia and the far-right. It is important to understand, however, that Shekhovtsov does not see Putin as orchestrating their construction from above. Largely, it has been the result of nominally independent economic and political players in Russia taking their own initiatives—but inspired by the Kremlin’s foreign policy—that is at work. This gives Putin a certain degree of plausible deniability in the way that some analysts described Reagan’s role in Iran-Contra.

Russia understood that parties such as the National Front in France, Jobbik in Hungary, the Lega Nord in Italy, UKIP in England, and others less well-known could be brought around. They saw Putin first and foremost as a supporter of “traditional family values” as indicated in the speech above as well as an adversary of the European Union, whose liberal immigration norms were hated as much as they are by Donald Trump. It was not just the open borders of the EU that enabled Polish workers to work for lower wages in England that had to go. It was also the willingness of countries such as Germany and Sweden to take in refugees. A hatred of Muslims was already gestating in Europe when the arrival of tens of thousands fleeing the war in Syria fueled the growth of AfD and the mistitled Sweden Democrats.

In addition, the far-right was eager to take Russia’s side in its periodic wars with upstart former Soviet republics such as Georgia, Ukraine and Chechnya. If “colored revolutions” were a plot orchestrated by the Jew George Soros, why wouldn’t you support Russia?

A large part of Russia’s campaign to win friends and influence people on the far-right entails its ambitious media outreach that is practically synonymous with Russia Today. The network was renamed RT in order to disassociate it from the kind of vertical organization extending down from the Kremlin alluded to above. In chapter five of Shekhovtsov’s “Russia and the Western Far-right: Tango Noir”, there are some startling revelations on RT’s unbridled rightwing politics despite the good reputation it enjoys among some leftists.

Early on, RT executives figured out that “Russia is good” programming would not work in the West but if you mixed “Russia is good” with “The West is Bad”, you might have a winning formula. This is commonly known as “whataboutism” and has a certain viability since it is based on the obvious reality that the West is pretty damned bad. If Assad is blowing up Syrian hospitals, then you can always feature news about Saudi Arabia doing the same thing in Yemen. (Not that you can get any news about Russian jets bombing hospitals in Idlib.)

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American Dream » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:19 pm wrote:From AroamingVagabond:

The European New Right

Yockey would become the ideological predecessor of the Third Position and the European New Right, among whose prominent members are Jean-Francois Thiriart, Alain de Benoist and Aleksandr Dugin. A main feature of the European New Right is its criticism of American imperialism and of the “economism” of liberalism and its attempt to form alliances or infiltrate far-left opponents of Western imperialism and globalization.

Jean-Francois Thiriart
Jean-Francois Thiriart was briefly a leftist in high school before joining the National Legion and the Association of the Friends of the German Reich, two far-right organizations, later serving in the Waffen-SS for which he would be imprisoned after WWII. After his imprisonment he would retire from political life until the 1960s when he re-entered politics due to his belief that Europe was losing its status as a cultural center, especially after the independence of the Congo and the Algerian Revolution during which he organized in favor of Belgian settlers who wanted Belgium to reconquer the Congo as well as support for the French Secret Army Organization seeking to maintain Algeria as a French colony through a brutal and bloody campaign of massacring Algerians.

Thiriart saw the Belgian and French loss of the Congo and Algeria as pan-European affairs rather than in purely nationalist terms and he founded the organization Jeune Europe with the aim of creating a united Europe which would have its own nuclear arsenal and would be independent of the USA and the USSR whom he considered were dominating Europe and had turned it into a battlefield, thus echoing Yockey in his pre-1952 days, though Thiriart himself had never apparently known or read Yockey. Like Yockey, Thiriart also despised parliamentary democracy and instead advocated for an anti-egalitarian totalitarian state.

Thiriart would also try denying being a fascist and distancing himself from his Nazi past, instead calling the Left-Right division as outdated (in typical fascist rhetoric) and advancing a philosophy called Communitarianism which claimed to transcend the division between the Left and the Right though Jeune Europe had open ties with Nazis and used openly fascist imagery. Thiriart from then on advocated for a union of Europe and the Soviet Union, which he considered to be more Russian than Communist as from the early 50s, into a “massive white power bloc from Brest to Vladivostok”. Here he was echoing Yockey again.

Following the Sino-Soviet Split, Thiriart started advocating for supporting China against the Soviets in an attempt to make the latter lose its grip on Europe to pave the way for a rapprochement between Europe and Russia, as well as supporting revolutionaries in Latin America and the Black Power movement in the Unites States to end American hegemony on Western Europe. He would further restructure Jeune Europe along the line of a Leninist vanguard party, drop the open Nazi imagery of his organization and repudiate his earlier positions on Algeria and the Congo.

From then on, Thiriart moved towards a “National-Communist” perspective which was significantly influenced by Nicolae Ceaușescu’s adoption of an ultra-nationalist National Communism as state ideology, no doubt the result of Romania’s inclusion of former Iron Guard fascists within its intelligence apparatus, and Romania’s break with the Soviet Union and shift towards the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, Thiriart himself met Ceaușescu who contributed an article to Thiriart’s publication and would then help Thiriart met Zhou Enlai, from whom Thiriart attempted in vain to obtain Chinese support for Jeune Europe.

Thiriart worked with Argentine politician Juan Perón, who saw his own views of Latin American unity and integration as tied to Thiriart’s ones on European unity and who saw Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as heroes just like Thiriart did (for which obviously neither Castro nor Che themselves should be blamed), during Perón’s exile in Madrid where he also courted many members of the European far-right (Norberto Ceresole, who was for a time a close advisor of Hugo Chavez, was an associate of Perón. This red-brown tendency of Ceresole was also reflected by his association with Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson and with Roger Garaudy, a Holocaust denying Communist who was himself praised by Hassan Nasrallah and Muammar Gaddafi).

Thiriart would adopt a policy of forming ties with the Left from now on, praising Ho Chi Minh’s struggle against America which he saw as an inspiration, and visited many Arab states trying to obtain support for a potential armed organization who would fight “American occupation” in Europe, and speaking at a Ba’ath party conference and meeting with Saddam Hussein, who was then only a colonel in the army. However receptive the Ba’ath party was to Thiriart’s proposal, it scrapped this project following the Soviet Union’s refusal to support it. He also attempted to form ties with Palestinian resistance organizations during this period. Thiriart retired again from public life after his failure to obtain significant support, though his few public appearances would keep on being vehicles for his anti-Americanism.

[Note: During Thiriart’s retirement, one of his followers, Renato Curcio, would go on to found the Red Brigades radical leftist organization which was active in the 70s and 80s in Italy. Another disciple of Thiriart, Claudio Mutti, would form the Italian-Libyan Friendship Organization after Muammar Gaddafi took power in Libya and later took part in organizing a “Nazi-Maoism” movement with the help of pro-China student groups, forming the Lotta Di Popolo organization, and would later meet Aleksandr Dugin in the 90s before arranging for Thiriart to visit Russia. Some Italian militants influenced by Thiriart would even adopt Hitler, Mao, Gaddafi and Juan Perón as heroes, and had slogans supporting a “fascist dictatorship of the proletariat” and praised both Hitler and Mao together.]

The collapse of the Soviet Union encouraged him to start working with the National-European Communitarian Party (PCN) a small party made up of former Maoists and neo-fascists, and run by Luc Michel, who identified himself as a National-Communist and acted as Thiriart’s secretary. In 1992, Thiriart would lead a PCN delegation of National-Communists to Russia to meet fascists who were now able to operate openly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thiriart met Yegor Ligachyov, who was receptive to Thiriart’s idea of a union between Europe and Russia against America. Ligachyov suggested it should be in the form of a revived Soviet Union, which Thiriart accepted, paralleling Yockey’s post-1952 National-Bolshevik positions.

Thiriart died from a heart failure in late 1992, his followers setting up a second European Liberation Front to continue Thiriart’s project. The European Liberation Front kept contacts with the Russian coalition of the National Salvation Front and supported the National Salvation Front during the 1993 crisis opposing it to Boris Yeltsin in Russia.

Alain de Benoist
Among the neo-fascists to come out of Thiriart’s ideological orbit is Alain de Benoist, who has exerted a substantial influence on the New Right. In his teenage years, De Benoist joined Thiriart’s Jeune Europe out of sympathy for the French occupation of Algeria in the late 50s and would later be a member of the editorial board of Europe-Action, a successor organization of Jeune Europe after the latter was banned by the French government.

During this period De Benoist was a standard mainstream neo-fascist opposed to Communism, defending apartheid and supporting the American imperialist war in Vietnam. Dissatisfied with the then state of the far-right and its inability to challenge the Gaullist French state, De Benoist would instead opt for giving up on the biological racism and conspiracy theories of the far-right and instead favor a more intellectual approach, and in reaction to the radical leftist movement of May 1968 he founded the think tank GRECE (which is the acronym for Groupement pour Recherches et Etudes pour la Civilisation Europeenne, the French translation of Research and Study Group for the European Civilization). Inspired by the theories of Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci on cultural hegemony (for which the by-then long deceased Gramsci should not be blamed), De Benoist would advocate for fighting an ideological war to influence mass culture as foundation for political change, a theory called “metapolitics”. GRECE consequently published material rehabilitating fascists such as ideologues of the Conservative Revolution and supporters of National-Bolshevism such as Ernst Niekisch.

De Benoist’s ideological evolution was also marked by a shift towards hostility to Christianity, which in his view had “colonized” Indo-Europeans by force, and support for a revival of pre-Christian European polytheism, which echoed Julius Evola. Accompanying this shift was an increasing anti-Americanism of De Benoist, who hated the “American way of life” and “it’s inane TV serials, chronic mobility, ubiquitous fast food, admiration of the almighty dollar and its quiescent, depoliticized populace”. He opposed free-market capitalism, appropriating left-wing critiques of liberalism by decrying it as an ideology reducing every aspect of human life to purely economic value, thus producing a totalizing consumer society which was inescapably totalitarian.

Paralleling Yockey and Thiriart before him, De Benoist came to consider American imperialism and liberal democracy as more dangerous than Soviet Communism, writing “Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn” in 1982 (which would be repeated in 2017 by Richard Spencer, a prominent figure of the American fascist “Alt-Right” movement), supporting Third World struggles while condemning NATO and voting for the Communist Party in the French elections of 1984.

Against accusations from other neo-fascists of having defected to the New Left, De Benoist would just like Thiriart before him claim he was out of the Left-Right spectrum and instead supported “a plural world grounded in the diversity of cultures” against a “one-dimensional world”. This concept, called “ethnopluralism”, meant that De Benoist had gone from a white supremacist to a supporter of separate ethnic and cultural identities and regionalism against what he was as a “homogenizing global market”, putting him at odds with the vision of a pan-European superstate of Thiriart.

This concept of “ethnopluralism” would find its way among wider far-right circles, with Jean-Marie Le Pen re-using it in his xenophobic declarations and neo-fascists adopting it to ‘soften’ their racist rhetoric.

The end of the Cold War signified the end of the Left-Right divide for De Benoist and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he would visit Russia in 1992, months before Thiriart’s own delegation, where he would meet many figures of the opposition to Boris Yeltsin and proclaim that politics consisted of anti-system forces against the “establishmentarian center”, effectively advocating for a Left-Right coalition against liberal democracy.

https://ravingsofaradicalvagabond.noblo ... alliances/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 am
by American Dream
Far Right, Far Left, schmeh...

PSL’s Brian Becker, Loud & Clear Radio, and Right-Wing Entryism

Brian Becker during an appearance on Abby Martin’s Empire Files

There is a recurring theme here other than Loud & Clear’s guests being either LaRouchite entryists or outright belonging to the far right, and that theme is opposition to the ridiculous Russiagate theory. But opposing such nonsense absolutely does not require platforming crypto-fash, anti-semites and various other far-right bigots.Now, one might say that the act of platforming these people isn’t harmful in and of itself.

Becker does not only give them a platform, though, he also gives them a certain amount of legitimacy. Someone who doesn’t know the background of some of these people may hear them on Becker’s radio show, then believe they have some sort of credibility, rather than being hate-mongers and cranks.It is not simply a matter of legitimacy, though, as Becker’s guests can also use the platform he gives them to spread their reactionary views, even if they may choose to do so through insinuation and dogwhistles rather than overtly. On this episode (at about 12:19), Ray McGovern characterizes US policy in Syria as directed by Israel. In fact he says “the only way you can explain what the US has been doing in Syria” is advancing Israeli interests. Not only is this idea that Israel directs US policy rooted in anti-semitism, it also requires ignoring the rather straight-forward fact that the State of Israel is a US client state and serves to advance US interests in the region.


American Dream » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:20 am wrote:An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left

Aleksandr Dugin
Aleksandr Dugin was born in the Soviet Union in 1962 and joined the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1979 before being expelled from it because of his associations with the esotericist Golovin Circle, for which he translated Julius Evola’s works. Following the Demokratizasiya under Mikhail Gorbachev, Dugin joined Pamyat, an anti-Semitic organization which blames a “Zionist Masonic plot” for the Russian Revolution and for all of Russia’s ills. Dugin became a member of Pamyat’s Central Council in 1988 before being expelled it in 1989 for attempting to introduce new ideas to the organization, after which he traveled to Western Europe where he met Alain de Benoist and Jean-Francois Thiriart, who strongly influenced his anti-Americanism and his support for Russian traditionalism.

Dugin then returned to Russia and founded Arktogaia, which published material expressing support for a conservative social revolution in Russia which would lead to the creation of a traditionalist, authoritarian and spiritual society. Around this time Dugin proposed to Limonov (who was also regularly published on Matt Taibbi’s and Mark Ames’ The eXile in the later part of that decade) to form the National Bolshevik Front, which was materialized in 1993, as part of the process of uniting the various anti-liberal tendencies in Russia which culminated in the National Salvation Front, and Dyen itself was associated with Arktogaia.

In 1997, Dugin wrote The Foundations of Geopolitics as a lecturer at the Academy of the General Staff with the help of Leonid Ivashov, a Russian colonel and former Soviet military officer who was the head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defense from 1996 to 2001. Dugin however left the National Bolshevik Party in 1998 after being dissatisfied with it and sought to increase his contacts, writing the program of the KPRF, and becoming advisor to Gennady Seleznev, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma, while also praising figures of the NSDAP and Nazi Germany and calling for a “fascist fascism”.

Around this time, Dugin combined his National Bolshevism to the Eurasianist ideology of white émigrés who saw Russia as a non-European entity which had been saved from modernization by the Bolshevik Revolution and aimed to turn the Soviet Union into a an Orthodox Christian state. In 2001, he formed the Eurasia Movement and the Eurasia Party and in 2005 he formed the Eurasian Youth Union while claiming to be an anti-fascist (though he still remains in effect a fascist) around that time, and has since then chosen a metapolitical strategy to realize his fascist goal. While Dugin’s influence in Russia is exaggerated, such as when he is called “Putin’s Rasputin”, he nevertheless is influential within sections of the Russian establishment (the head of United Russia’s ideological directorate and deputy culture minister in charge of the film industry, Ivan Demidov, is an Eurasianist close to Dugin) and military and used to be the head of the Department of Sociology of Internal Relations at the Moscow State University until thousands petitioned for him to be fired after he made calls to mass murder Ukrainians in 2014. Dugin has been hosted [archive] and promoted [archive] by Russian state television RT, formerly known as Russia Today, which now tries to downplay Dugin’s influence and distance itself from him. However Duginists like Mark Sleboda, Manuel Ochsenreiter and Tiberio Graziani are regularly hosted as experts on Russian state-owned international media, especially Sputnik International (formerly RIA Novosti and The Voice of Russia), the radio broadcaster owned by the Russian state.

The European New Right and Third Positionists became more influential following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which meant the loss of the Communist bogeyman against which the majority of Western fascists had agitated throughout the Cold War, and the neoliberal counterrevolution started under Reagan and Thatcher in the 1980s accompanied by globalization meant that the new bogeyman for fascists was “globalism“, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory whereby a tiny secret elite was working to undermine national sovereignty to form a “One World Government” and uses immigration for these ends. A common fixation of these conspiracy theories is philanthropist billionaire George Soros, who is regularly blamed for being behind every sort of social movement. In Europe, the far-right rebranded itself by co-opting leftist causes such as LGBT rights and secularism and anti-establishment politics abandoned by the old left-wing parties which caved in to “Third Way” politics and using them for their own reactionary cause, and went from opposing Communism and supporting the United States to opposing the United States and what their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories call the “Zionist lobby” and instead rallying around the Russian state, especially after the rise to power of Vladimir Putin and his brand of authoritarian right-wing politics.

Continues at: https://ravingsofaradicalvagabond.noblo ... alliances/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:51 pm
by American Dream

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 pm
by American Dream
Meanwhile, in Kentucky


Which brings me to the third of the Mad Dog PAC billboards. It’s the same dull red background, and in large yellow letters it reads “Russian Mob Money… Really Mitch?”

Three billboards, one that strikes some sort of populist note hinting at the terminal condition of Kentucky’s apparently permanent underclass, and two that play into the national din around so-called Russia-gate. If I want to put on my own tin-foil hat for a moment, the timing is rather suspect, as it occurs in syncopation with Joe Scarborough coining the catchy “Moscow Mitch” on the Morning Joe, which was instantly picked up and became a trending hashtag on Twitter. “Russian Rand”, alluding to junior Kentucky senator (and son of Ron Paul) Rand Paul, quickly followed.

On the one hand, there is a Russian dimension to the story of Kentucky’s moribund industrial history, and not all of it savory. Rumors of Russian mob involvement in the state’s coal industry have circulated for years, and in April 22nd a story appeared in the Courier Journal that one Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch purported to be linked to the country’s notorious criminal enterprises, is looking to invest a sizable sum in an aluminum processing plant in the eastern side of the state. It’s this strand that has brought the Russophobes in the media circus down on Mitch. Of course Deripaska has been linked to Paul Manafort, Trump’s disgraced campaign chairman. Of course Deripaska is close to Putin. Bring Deripaska money to Kentucky, mix in the power of the Donald-Mitch alliance, and we’re cooking with gas.

On the other hand, it all looks so absurd. Deripaska is close to Putin—ok. What still-standing oligarchs aren’t close with him? Russians want to invest in Kentucky industry. And? The last time I checked, the United States was deeply reliant on foreign direct investment for economic growth. It goes without saying that this always ends up interfering with the political process, with varying degrees intensity; Giovanni Arrighi, for example, has drawn attention to how flows of investment coming from Asia in the 90s made it difficult for America to pursue a national agenda in the face of international pressure—a contradiction that helped set the stage for the Bush administration’s schizophrenic pursuit of neoliberalism transnationalism and neoconservative national unilateralism. While sinister, this doesn’t exactly raise the specter of conspiracy in the sense of that the new Russophobes seem to believe that it does. It points instead to the general condition that under capitalism in its neoliberal mode, the nation-state loses some of its autonomy as it becomes more porous and riven with global flows. ... -kentucky/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:43 pm
by American Dream
Russiagate, Syria, and the Left


Eight years of steady disinformation on Syria have created a split in the peace movement. The enormous amount of time and energy spent debating Syria could have gone to building the peace movement instead of dividing it. The doubts raised repeatedly about Russian interference and Mueller’s investigation have weakened the opposition to Trump. Some people don’t know which news sources they can trust. Others restrict themselves only to sources that support their ideological line.

Steve Bannon famously said, “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” That is exactly what has happened. There are thousands of new and unaccountable media organizations on the internet.

As Syria solidarity activists, we have been struggling against extensive, sophisticated disinformation regarding Syria for years — and it’s largely not from the US mainstream media. Syria is not Iraq, where the New York Times helped Bush lead us into war with fake information about WMDs. Syria is not Kuwait, where there were false stories planted about babies in incubators.

The mainstream media articles “demonizing” Assad are fundamentally true – his regime is one of the world’s most repressive, with a vast police and prison torture system of historic proportions. Unlike Iraq and Iran, and contrary to the propaganda claims, the CIA did not instigate a serious covert regime change operation in Syria. The US efforts in Syria are well documented in Shane Bauer’s recent two part article for Mother Jones. He writes that “American involvement in Syria has been as fragmented and volatile as the conflict itself.” In this groundbreaking article, he documents how the US has spent billions, initially aiding the Free Syrian Army, but ultimately focused on combating ISIS, forbidding US-backed groups from fighting Assad’s forces.

His article corroborates the stories of anti-Assad Syrians: of a genuine uprising against a brutal dictator evolving into a proxy war; of Assad bombing and starving civilians. The Syrian people were caught up in the fervor of the Arab Spring and surprised themselves (and the CIA) by going to the streets in the hundreds of thousands, demonstrating for democracy, overcoming their deep fears of reprisal.

However, most of the peace movement still doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Syrian people’s eight-year struggle against the Assad dictatorship. There have been so many articles in “progressive” media promoting Assad’s narrative of another US regime change effort that they have buried the voices of Syrians.

The voices of Syrian communists, anarchists, democracy activists, writers, artists, intellectuals, and nonviolence activists have rarely been represented in “progressive” media. The majority of these media’s articles on Syria have been written by non-Syrians and they usually promote Assad’s line that he is protecting his sovereign country from US-backed terrorists.

Research from the University of Washington has shown how dominant the pro-Assad political messaging is from an “echo-system” of sites that follow Russian, Iranian, and Syrian government funded media. Researchers examined Twitter conversations about the White Helmets (a Syrian volunteer rescue group) in the summer of 2017. There were four times as many tweets from the “echo-system” as there were from other media sources. Articles from the “echo-system” claimed the White Helmets were a “propaganda construct,” “crisis actors” who staged events, and “that they worked with or were themselves terrorists.”

The UW study noted that this “echo-system” of sites claiming to be “independent” and “alternative” shared the same stories and writers. A few of these sites are Global Research, RT, Mint Press News, Sputnik News, Free Thought Project, The Anti-Media, 21st Century Wire, Veterans Today, Zero Hedge, and many others. ... -the-left/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:27 pm
by Belligerent Savant

Articles from the “echo-system” claimed the White Helmets were a “propaganda construct,” “crisis actors” who staged events, and “that they worked with or were themselves terrorists.”


You can just keep peddling your BULLSHIT here, huh? Your mod "don't know shit about shit", so you're in the clear.

Tell your pal 82 to close out my account.

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:06 pm
by coffin_dodger
Tell your pal 82 to close out my account.

No such luck for you, Mr Belsav, your mind belong to Jeff Wells now. You ain't goin nowhere. You must tune in every day for the rest of your life to read frustrating blathershite, every word and phrase penetrating your mind and despoiling that which was once pure. That little voice you talk to inside yourself - you know, the guy that is the essence of you - he'll start to sound like AD or Username slad, eventually. Oh happy day.
You will be assimilated my boy, YOU WILL.

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:16 pm
by American Dream
RT has a large following in the West because its programming is laced with conspiracy theories that went viral with the advent of the Internet. You can find a plethora of reports on 9/11 being an inside job. For example, Aymeric Chauprade, a leader of the National Front in France, appeared on an RT show titled “9/11: Challenging the Official Version”. He was identified as a “dissident voice in the French academic world” as if he were the French Noam Chomsky.

Another frequent RT guest was Lyndon LaRouche who became a diehard supporter of Vladimir Putin after being released from prison in 1994. In every single act of defiance by a former Soviet Republic, LaRouche could be counted upon to reduce it to a CIA plot. Another reliable booster of Russia’s need to defend its borders was Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the Freedom Party in Austria that is nativist to the core and emphatically opposed to sanctions against Russia. The fascist party works closely with the Lega Nord in Italy and has helped to form a coalition of the far-right in 2014 named the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom. Without overstating the case, it might be described as the kernel of a fascist international.

Despite the presence of many well-known leftists as hosts or interviewees on RT, its coverage of certain litmus test events place it firmly in Fox TV territory. When an immigrant was killed by the cops in May 2013, riots broke out in Stockholm, Sweden. They were seen by RT as a symptom of the EU’s failure. Out of 7 people interviewed on a show titled “They Don’t Want to Integrate”, four belonged to racist and far-right circles, including a Sweden Democrats member of parliament.

For his expertise on Libya and Syria, RT turned to Richard Spencer, the fascist who became an instant celebrity after a YouTube video showed him being punched in the face by an anti-fascist. Another expert is Marine Le Pen, who is on RT almost as much as Michael Moore is on MSNBC. One of the more appalling revelations in this chapter is this:

The introductions of far-right commentators in the Russian media were sometimes overtly impudent. This was the case, for example, of Jobbik’s Marton Gyongyosi who, in 2012. urged the Hungarian government to draw up lists of Jews who posed a “national security risk”. In an introduction to the interview with him in Komsomol’skaya Pravda, the female journalist described Gyongyosi as an “elegant, handsome 37-year old man” a “way-up and sophisticated … ardent patriot of Hungary” who “could not care less” that “he had been called an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi”. The journalist of Komsomol’skaya Pravda, which earlier reported on anti-Semitic activities of Jobbik, apparently needed this whitewashing and distracting introduction to play down Gyongyosi’s anti-Semitism and lend credibility to his words that the EU was a colony of the United States and that the CIA, the US State Department, George Soros and European politicians had allegedly orchestrated the Ukrainian protests.

Despite my admiration for Shekhovtsov’s “Russia and the Western Far-right: Tango Noir” being unbounded, I must state that I have different ideas on the origins of the Russia/Far-right alliance and how it can be opposed. I doubt that he would object to me describing him as coming at these questions in the same way as Ann Applebaum and Timothy Snyder, who regard Putin, Le Pen, Orban, Salvini, et al as enemies of democracy and Western values. I have a different take.

In my view, unless you factor in the economic consequences of the Western System, for the lack of a better term, you will fail to understand why people are turning to the right. While it is true that reporters are not being murdered in London or New York for writing articles critical of the government, the freedom they enjoy is joined at the hip to the freedom of the marketplace. Nativism is growing apace because unemployment is also growing apace. Runaway shops leave people destitute and hungry. Last week the NY Times reported that schoolchildren are going hungry because of cutbacks). One teacher was shocked to see one of her students sifting through trash cans for discarded fruit. When you turn back the clock to the days of Charles Dickens, people do desperate things—including voting for Brexit, a rightwing move that is motivated to a large extent by resentment toward immigrants.

While it is true that we need political democracy, it is just as true that we need economic democracy. Without a decent job that pays enough to pay for housing, food and medical care, people resort to desperate measures, including following a rightwing demagogue who promises the world while practically stealing the bread from their table. That is what we are dealing with now in the Trump regime. To put an end to Trumpism, Putinism, Modism, and Erdoganism, we need a movement that moves on all fronts, from human rights to democratic rights. As Rosa Luxemburg once put it, the choice is between socialism and barbarism.


Between Socialism and Barbarism
A review by Louis Proyect. ... barbarism/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:06 pm
by American Dream
The anti-Semitism Fest Where Russian Spies, Code Pink, David Duke and the Nation of Islam Make Friends and Influence People

When a former U.S. intelligence officer was charged with spying for Iran, attention focused on the Tehran conference where she was radicalized. Meet New Horizon's bizarre collage of neo-Nazis and anti-imperialists, recruiters for Russian subversion, and unmitigated anti-Semitism

Alexander Reid Ross

A graphic posted on Twitter by @CyrusShares from Alexander Dugin's YouTube channel celebrating the Iranian regime. Oct 2018

Some of the New Horizon participants are clearly useful idiots, looking to make friends and contacts, who don’t fully comprehend their complicity in a fascism-friendly, dictator-washing espionage recruitment pool. Other are willing idiots, who recognize on some level they’re coordinating with Iran’s regime machinery and a global class of pro-Kremlin agitators, but don’t actually understand the extent to which they are actually agents of those forces – despite Iran’s exploitation of their presence on social media and state television.

The third category of participants is willing assets: those who eagerly seek the media exposure offered by Iran and Russia and are committed to the conference’s transnational, ideological milieu, and come to Iran to trade tips about how to undermine the "imperialist," Zionist-controlled governments of the U.S. and Europe.

More: ... -1.7003563

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:20 pm
by American Dream
Radical media and the blurred lines of ‘red’ fascism

Analysis, Jan 13th

Javier Sethness looks at the modern rise of “red-brown” politics and its infection of the left through the lens of a recent Indy Media on Air showing with prominent radical media figure Chris Burnett, which gave Assadist hardliner Vanessa Beeley a platform offering oddly softball questions.

The red-brown convergence, or the seemingly puzzling political alliance between far-left (red) and far-right (brown), is a serious and worsening problem around the world—evermore so since Donald Trump’s election and inauguration. Beyond the divisions between authoritarian and libertarian socialism on the left, both authoritarian and anti-authoritarian socialist traditions share with fascism an emphasis on revolutionism, or the need to transform society radically, rather than incrementally. In practice, this has meant that Italian Fascism grew out of the Cercle Proudhon, an intellectual circle dedicated to the study of this French anarchist; that the Strasserite faction of the Nazi Party had an (admittedly racist) anti-capitalist orientation; and that the Russian neo-fascist and Vladimir Putin adviser Aleksandr Dugin has developed a “fourth political theory” which combines Stalinism with Nazism.1

While this axis has important implications for social life across the globe, the red-brown convergence is seen mostly clearly in Syria and in the discursive struggle over the Syrian Civil War. Since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution in March 2011, an estimated half-million Syrians have been killed, including 200,000 civilians. Syria’s Assad Regime, Putin’s Russia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been found to be responsible for killing 94% of these civilians. Moreover, in a new analysis of cyber warfare in the Syrian Revolution, an anonymous observer identifies three main stands adopted by those confronted with the events in Syria: the pro-Assad, anti-US-imperialism stance; the silent stance; and the stance in solidarity. It is unfortunate to consider that, rather than provide coverage in solidarity with Syrian dissidents across borders, Pacifica Radio/KPFK 90.7 Los Angeles gave a platform to fascism on March 21st and 28th of this year on the radio show “Indy Media on Air.” (Link available here.) While the program description states the show’s mission as being the “creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth,” readers of this commentary will judge for themselves whether its pro-Assad orientation can be viewed in any way as radical, accurate, or truthful.

The fascist in question is Vanessa Beeley, a British “alternative” journalist who runs interference for Assad and Putin. The website where she works as an editor, 21st Century Wire, features anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers such as Gilad Atzmon alongside rationalizations of Assadist fascism and “exposés” about the White Helmets, otherwise known as the Syrian Civil Defense—that is, the first responders to Russian and Syrian regime bombardment of civilian areas in opposition-held regions of the country. 21st Century Wire was founded by an Infowars editor, Patrick Henningsen, and has been found by Media Bias Fact Check to be a “conspiracy and fake news [website] with an extreme right bias.” Alongside Holocaust denial, the site’s editors promote climate change denial as well. Yet while introducing Beeley on his show on March 21st, Chris Burnett, host of “Indy Media on Air,” failed to mention Beeley’s association with 21st Century Wire or Infowars. Neither did he clarify that Beeley’s “claim to fame” was that her “exposé” of the White Helmets has been heavily promoted by Russian State media, including Sputnik and Russia Today, and in fact was submitted in 2017 by Putin’s government to the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly as “evidence” against the group.

Rather than disclose these questionable ties, Burnett muddied the waters from the start of the interview by linking Beeley to the Syria Solidarity Movement (SSM), which to unknowing listeners might just sound like the equivalent of the International Solidarity Movement, which organizes support for Palestinians living under Israeli Occupation through direct action. Yet the Syria Solidarity Movement (SSM) is nothing of the kind: it is instead a conspiracist, pro-Assad outfit whose mission statement demands “universal respect for and protection of Syrian sovereignty and territory” and denies the opposition the right to armed struggle, advocating “the use of exclusively nonviolent means of national resolution and reconciliation.” These are clearly pro-regime talking points that justify the BBC’s conclusion in a recent article on Syrian conspiracy theories which includes critique of Beeley that:

[t]he activists call themselves “anti-war,” but as they generally back the Syrian government’s military operations against rebel forces seeking to overthrow Mr Assad and Russian air strikes carried out in support, it might be more accurate to describe them as “anti-Western intervention” or “pro-Syrian government.”

Therefore, if it were honest, the SSM would rename itself the “Assad Solidarity Movement.” Its steering committee includes Sara Flounders from the Workers’ World Party (WWP); Richard Becker of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and its front group, the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition; and Navid Nasr, a self-avowed Duginist. Beeley and her fellow Assadist propagandist Eva Bartlett reportedly were part of the same SSM committee until the publication of this investigation into them in late 2016 over their fascist, conspiracist views. It bears noting here that ANSWER/PSL allowed the neo-Nazi agitator “Baked Alaska” free rein to dismiss the Douma attack as a hoax and promote his fascistic “America First” ideology at their pro-Assad rally in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, April 14th. Tellingly in this sense, in his recent investigation into international red-brown organizing efforts in favor of Russian and Assad Regime interests in the Syrian Civil War, Alexander Reid Ross identifies the SSM as a “syncretic anti-imperialist network” which opens the door to collaboration between the authoritarian left and neo-fascist right, as was perhaps best-illustrated at the 2014 “Multipolar World” conference organized in Moscow by the Duginist Anti-Globalization Movement, which neo-Confederates and “anti-imperialists” alike attended.

Continues: ... d-fascism/

Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:21 pm
by American Dream
From Exile to Dirtbag: Edgelord geopolitics and the rise of “National Bolshevism” in the U.S.

National Bolshevism Empowered

Though the eXile left Moscow, it maintained an online presence as Russian foreign policy grew more interventionist. From Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 to the war in Ukraine in 2014, The eXile’s editors helped frame West-East conflict in ways that deflected criticism of Putin back to the US and reflected Russia’s propaganda line, which brought left and right together in a geopolitical struggle with National Bolshevik overtones.

Ames blamed the U.S. for Putin’s election rigging; The eXile blamed the rise of the far-right within Putin’s government on the US’s support for Yeltsin in the 1990s; Dolan and Ames both relished Russia’s invasion of Georgia, with the War Nerd calling it “the war of my dreams.” Richard Spencer, while praising the War Nerd’s position, felt it necessary to add that Dolan’s “taste for blood and guts exceeds mine.” Meanwhile, Putin waged a personal war against opponents and hired Lyndon LaRouche associate, Sergei Glazyev, as his advisor on Eurasian integration.

Transferring nostalgia for the Soviet Empire into modern, capitalist conditions, Putin oversaw the rehabilitation of the reputation of far-right figures like Ivan Ilyin as well as Stalin, while amassing a vast personal fortuneand unleashing far-right oligarchs on eastern Ukraine. When a Ukrainian revolution overthrew Yanukovych in 2013, Putin sent troops who wrote things like “For Stalin!” on their tanks in semi-clandestine efforts to establish an imperial “Greater Russia.” To this day, pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine manifest a melange of mercenaries and ideological fascists, authoritarian communists, and National Bolsheviks.

Looking at Ukraine, Ames took two conflicting analyses which were shredded by analyst Marcy Wheeler. The first report discussed by Wheeler presented a nuanced discussion of the interests of the opposition, while the second offered a weird and dubious account of pro-Western neoliberals responsible for teaming up with fascists to instigate regime change. His position was summed up in another article: “Stay the Hell out of Russia’s way for awhile… Sorry Ukraine, but you’re screwed.”

Limonov rejoined Putin’s side after years on the opposition, enraptured by the convergence of ultranationalism and Soviet nostalgia. Limonov’s former close comrade, Dugin, exhorted pro-Russian forces in Ukraine to “Kill! Kill! Kill Ukrainians!” and his close associates took leading roles in the Kremlin-supported “civil war.” Limonov and Dugin appeared on Russian TV together, a symbol of the power of the invasion of Ukraine to reunite old comrades.

The alt-right received a meaningful boost from both cofounders of the National Bolshevik Party. Dugin afforded Spencer a platform at his think tank’s website, and Spencer’s then wife served as Dugin’s English translator. Much of the American far right read Dugin’s books and developed international alliances with his international network — for example, Matt Heimbach’s once-influential Traditional Workers Party.

Meanwhile, left-wingers from the West increasingly flocked to the newly minted Sputnik News, joining the head of Dugin’s Center for Conservative Studies on podcasts promoting conspiracy theories and denouncing “Atlanticists.” Joining the cry of many an anti-imperialist, Spencer appeared on RT to denounce the U.S.’s “cold war” in Ukraine.

Moscow’s clandestine social media influence operations and public support for quixotic “anti-imperialist” movements that united left and right against liberalism followed the patterns of National Bolshevism. Amid the resurgence, Limonov even experienced a small comeback. Holocaust denier and erstwhile Wikileaks collaborator, Israel Shamir, boasted of Limonov as his “friend” in the left-wing site CounterPunch. In a 2017 article in the alt-right associated Unz Review, antisemitic blogger Anatoly Karlin, who had already lauded the eXile as “irreverent court jesters,” recalled “the chiliastic chic of Limonov’s monthly rant.”

Meanwhile, the far right kept up its love affair with The eXile. When the Washington Post’s Kathy Lally described The eXile as “juvenile, stunt-obsessed and pornographic, titillating for high school boys,” Sailer jumped to defend Taibbi and Ames in the Unz Review. One Unz commentator opined, “Their support of Limonov actually makes them somewhat precursors of the alt-right.” Indeed, the War Nerd published white nationalist talking points in Taki’s Mag during the formation of the alt-right, and Ames and Taibbi’s book figured as a life-changing influence for leading MRAs.

For Ames’s part, having spent years creating travel documentaries for RT, he migrated to Pando News, a site partly funded by Silicon Valley Trump supporter, Facebook board member, and Palantir co-founder, Peter Theil. According to the New York Times, a Palantir employee would work closely with Cambridge Analytica to inappropriately gain access to millions of Facebook users’ information and use that data to assist the Trump campaign.

The “Next Stage” of Dirtbags

Despite continuing to defend and promote Limonov amid the rise of the alt-right, The eXile’s alums became idols for a growing online community of self-described “dirtbag leftists,” a term coined by podcaster Amber A’Lee Frost to describe a contingent of leftists associated with the controversial podcast,Chapo Trap House.

The top-ranked podcast on Patreon, Chapo Trap House (CTH) emerged in 2016, growing to include more than 26,000 patrons dishing out over $108,000 per month. Known for an “ironic” sense of humor that blurs the distinction between truth and ideology, the million-dollar a year podcast typically garners 100,000–200,000 listens per episode.

Like the alt-right, hosts make often self-deprecating jokes at the expense ofrape survivors and people with autism. Controversy flared when CTH hosts seemingly mocked the #MeToo movement and responded to a critical essay by Jeet Heer in The New Republic with a homophobic comment.

Given their misogynistic tendencies and opportunistic blurring of satire and reality, it is no surprise that in the early days, CTH fawned over Taibbi as “our old pal and first mega-guest.” When Dolan and Ames’s podcast, Radio War Nerd, was listed as part of the “dirtbag left” in a critical piece, Ames tweeeted out the hashtag, “#JeSuisDirtbag.”

Showing the alt-right’s sustained enjoyment of The eXile’s form of offensive irreverence, now in the form of the “dirtbag left,” Richard Spencer told an audience, “I do find it kind of amazing. If you listen to fifteen minutes of [CTH], it sounds like an alt-right podcast in terms of the jokes, the memes, the cynicism, the irreverence. It’s pretty funny. So I do think that that’s going to be the next stage.”

Spencer’s comments may not be not far off. A few years before CTH started, soon-to-be host Virgil Texas brought the alt-right “comedy group,” Million Dollar Extreme, to perform at one of his events, indicating the proximity between their style, if not politics.

The “dirtbag left” also engaged in an interesting pattern of geopolitical analysis so conducive to National Bolshevik ideology that the Duginist blog,Fourth Revolutionary War, cross-posted a number of articles and podcasts from Ames, Dolan, and CTH, including a CTH episode with Taibbi. CTH hosts seem to invite such crossovers, having gone on Sputnik and RT and toed the Kremlin’s foreign policy line — particularly with regard to the war in Syria, where one of their hosts praised war criminal Issam Zahreddine.

While Spencer changed his Twitter handle to feature an image of the Syrian regime’s flag after Assad forces deployed a chemical weapons attack on Khan Shaykhun, another CTH host named Will Menaker joined conspiracy theorists in speculating that the attack was a “false flag” on Twitter before deleting the tweet.

Such false-flag conspiracy theories are promoted through an extensive pro-Kremlin network involving a mix of left and right-wing commentatorsattempting to discredit the Syrian opposition — especially the first responders known as the White Helmets, whom the purveyors of disinformation accuse of staging the chemical attacks. These accusations, often used to deflect from efforts to confront genocide in Syria, issue from a tendency to support authoritarian dictators that the left has yet to fully reckon with.

Although many of their fans have attempted to distance themselves from The eXile’s former editors, CTH hosted a Syria podcast with the War Nerd, who deflected from regime atrocities in Aleppo. For their podcast, Radio War Nerd, Dolan and Ames brought on frequent RT and Sputnik commentator Max Blumenthal, who has mocked Syrian victims, referred to the White Helmets rescue workers as “an arm of Al Qaeda,” and is currently facing a defamation lawsuit for allegedly participating in a “coordinated effort to attack, discredit and endanger journalists whose work counters a certain political line.”

Aside from attacking me personally in an article cowritten with Blumenthal, Ames has defended a similar line on a number of salient issues. Following the GRU’s Novichok attack in Salisbury that left Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia hospitalized and killed a bystander, Ames and a number of pro-Kremlin pundits and right-wing conspiracy theorists started trying to poke holes in the “official narrative.” After open-source analysts at Bellingcat uncovered the identities of the two suspects as members of the GRU, Ames joined The eXile’s Yasha Levine and an extensive pro-Kremlin reaction against the open-source investigation group.

Indeed, Ames has a history of attacking Bellingcat, stretching back to harsh words comparing the group to 9/11 Truthers after it uncovered evidence that Russia had been involved in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Ames and Bellingcat crossed swords again in 2017, when Ames attacked founder, Eliot Higgins, for critiquing journalist Seymour Hersh’s debunked reporting on Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

The “dirtbag left” and associated lefties have revealed similar clustering tendencies regarding Donald Trump — for instance, dismissing allegations of collaboration with Russia, defending Trump’s foreign policy, and supporting left-right convergences. When liberals brought up the potential that Russia engaged in elections meddling, Taibbi compared them to WMD theorists — a comparison repeated by Trump less than a week later. When Trump shocked NATO by questioning the defense of small member states like Montenegro, which had narrowly avoided a Russia-backed coup coordinated with Serbian ethno-nationalists, Blumenthal used the opportunity to deflect from Trump by taking another stab at liberals. When CTH favorite Angela Nagle appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show in favor of hard borders amid Trump’s concocted “border crisis,” Richard Spencer giddily tweeted out, “NazBol [National Bolshevik] gang when?”

It bears noting, despite tendencies to align, that the “dirtbag left” is a complex and decentralized political ecosystem with different pundits related along particular lines of affinity and harboring distinct grudges. Even a CTH host denounced Nagle for her comments on borders, while a host of the related Dead Pundits Society podcast defended her. It is further worth noting that, while the “podcast left” of would-be pundits have an outsized influence, they hardly constitute the ideals of the left, in general. Although they have capitalized on the left’s growth since 2008, the dirtbags’s egos are viewed by many leftists as a liability and an impediment to actual left-wing organizing.

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