Saturday, 12 February 2011

Leaving cults behind

I've just finished reading Troy Southgate's Nazis, Fascists or Neither? (Ideological Credentials of the British Far Right, 1987-1994) and I would recommend it to all radical nationalists, particularly if, like me, they have a nerdish curiosity for political trainspotting...ahem.

Southgate, of course, remains one of the leading lights of National Anarchism, and while I don't for a minute liken myself to the man in terms of his obvious intellect, political achievements and activism, Troy's political evolution is similar to my own albeit from a very different trajectory.

Southgate's latest book is an academic study of the several nationalist groups operating in the UK at the time and does much to discredit the "NARTZII!" AND "FASHISSST!" accusations of their Leftist and liberal opponents. While he acknowledges that elements of National Socialism and Italian Fascism were evident in a couple of groups active at the time, Southgate concludes that, for the most part, the nationalist movement at that time displayed a radical, revolutionary anti-capitalism to put the Marxists and Left-Anarchos in the shade.

When I was younger and wore my 'Anti-Fascism' on my sleeve, I remember having a dirty little secret: admiration for some of 'the Fash'. "Actually" I'd admit to myself, "a lot of what they say is alright." I particularly liked their anti-Industrialism and love of tradition. But due to my strong identification with proletarian internationalism (I had been drawn to Leftism purely by chance) and loyalty to the socialist cause, I still preferred to judge tribalist schools of thought as 'race hate' and dismissed them obediently as the attack dogs of capitalism. How I reached that conclusion, I now confess was due to a gang mentality: Our lot against them.

If anything, however, most on the left, as proud internationalists, are in real terms siding with the global capitalist elites. The world belongs to the capitalists and by pushing their 'no borders' mantra and supporting unbridled immigration (which only harms workers everywhere) the left are making life easier for the globalists: making the whole world their market place and in doing so increasing the cosmopolitan hegemony.

George Orwell once wrote: In all countries, the poor are more national than the rich. This means the rich have no country, rather than the workers - to turn a Leftist slogan on its head. Internationalism is a bourgeois ideology, which emerged with the age of Empire and when international markets eclipsed localism and organic economies. One could argue that the development of modern nationalism was in direct reaction not only to industrialism (when the peoples of Europe were dragged from the land and their folk roots) but also to the Empire builders, the new capitalist class and the rise of global trade, rather than a bourgeois reaction to halt the tide of proletarian solidarity.

The cult of Anti-Fascism, however, had a keen grip on me for a good while. I used to make a nuisance of myself removing nationalist stickers and posters which often had clear anti-capitalist messages. But the us and them view kept winning for a while. My gradual conversion to National Anarchism was partly due to my eventual admission that oil and water don't mix, good fences make for good neighbours and that cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism only destroyed identity and culture (two concepts which I had long held dear and had managed to reconcile with my Leftist worldview through those Marxist concessions of Left-Nationalism and National Liberation) A latent love of my people and our heritage, and studying 'the fash' to the point of going native ( ! ) were also factors which bought me to National Anarchism.

Southgate's latest work will hopefully provide useful arguments against the dogmatists and it offers a welcome investigation into the revolutionary nationalist movement, hitherto mostly overlooked, and I look forward to a similar academic study of the modern National Anarchist phenomenon in due course.