Saturday, 24 January 2009

Don't let the Black Bloc turn black and blue

The relatively recent German phenomenon of the Autonome Nationalisten (Autonomous Nationalists)appear to be influencing other nationalists elsewhere, particularly Russia. Also, according to Searchlight, there's now a group in England using the name Free Nationalists, who I assume are similar. Leftists would say this is just a ruse for nazism, but this would be over-generalising. Although despite their name, some groups appear to be allied to political parties like the NPD and there is probably an overlap in membership.

AN politics seem a little too statist and frankly National Socialist for my tastes, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are sincere and genuine anti-globalists and anti-capitalists. Certainly they are not as ideologically rigid as the orthodox far-right. This should mean non-sectarians from all anti-globalist camps should look to cooperate and learn from them whenever the opportunities arise. Particularly, for the fledgling National Anarchist current, dialogue with a view to building alliances and comradely relations with the Autonome Nationalisten and their equivalents, would seem a better use of their time than going to the Marxists (who it could be argued are imperialistic) and left-anarchists. Sectarians there undoubtedly are within the AN milieu, but they can't be as venomous and as blinkered as many leftists (OK, OK, I'm an embittered ex-leftie!)I'm not suggesting that ALL leftists are incapable of working with anti-globalists from other camps. What I am suggesting is an end to ideological purity as all that tends to bring is isolation and lack of influence. what unites the Reds, Greens, Blacks and Browns is their common anti-capitalism and anti-globalism. I don't see any textbook utopia coming round the corner any time soon - Unite with other anti-globalists (even if you think the finer details of their politics stink to high heaven! This is why I support and wishy-washy Green Party!)You'll damage the common enemy so much more that way.

Indeed, the Autonome Nationalisten most notably have adopted the tactics of the left-anarchist Black Bloc, the hard element of those periodic anti-globalist demos, much to the latter's disdain, adopting the dress, tactics, slogans and confrontational attitude of this youth orientated current. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, although you wouldn't think it judging by the reaction of the left-anarchists - as if THEY hold the copyright on political identity and symbolism! In Australia, the vanguard of National Anarchism, NA activists have also adopted Black Bloc techniques.

National Anarchists, however, should aim to avoid slagging matches and rucks. If the Autonomen Nationalisten prove they are only interested in goading the leftists, NAs must not be tempted to join in (although, of course they have the right to defend themselves)The wider anti-globalist movement must never become a big battleground for petty ideology. It must remain pluralistic, able to withstand attempts by dogmatists to capture it, or descend into an arena for warring factions to act out their ultimately self-defeating fistycuffs.

National Anarchists should view the Black Bloc as genuine anti-globalists worthy of respect, and should try to engage with their less sectarian elements. A thankless task, maybe, but well worth it if only a fraction respond positively or benignly. Also National Anarchists should be careful not to become ghettoised like the far-left and far-right. Big, noisy, angry demos have their place (and NAs, ANs and other non-Marxist socialists, need not always tail end the Black Bloc, stay out of the way if things look ugly - E's not worth it!!) But NAs must not put all their eggs in one basket. Do National Anarchists want their ideas to be confined to a scene or sub-culture, or do they want to reach out to a larger audience? To their credit National Anarchists in Australia are involved in sustainable living and self-sufficiency projects - good practical ways of combating the consumer mindset. It's examples like this, as well as kickass demos, that can have a lasting impact in the fight for a post-capitalist world.