May 26, 2006

Critiquing neocons and scapegoating Jews: an exchange with a "heartland Democrat"

Twisted anti-elitism is a centerpiece of fascist and other right-wing populist ideology. Right-wing conspiracy theories blame oppression on small groups of evil-doers who supposedly distort the normal workings of society -- such as the Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergers, the World Trade Organization, the Bush family, etc. That's fundamentally different from a systemic analysis of capitalism or imperialism. In addition, many right-wing conspiracy theories explicitly or implicitly scapegoat Jews or other ethnic groups. Nevertheless, such theories have repeatedly found their way into leftist discourse. Exposing and critiquing them is an important part of anti-fascist work.

This problem was brought home to me again last month after I posted my essay "Christian Rightists and Neocons: a 25-year Alliance" to Three Way Fight. A few days later I received an email response from Barbara ---, offering her own critique of the neocons. With a little digging, I found that Barbara's email was a lightly edited excerpt from her blog The Southern Journal, which blends seemingly progressive positions with hatred of Jews and Mexicans and other far-right themes. Although it's easy to condemn Barbara's explicit bigotry, the subtler forms of scapegoating implicit in her portrait of the neocons could find a broad audience.

Here is the beginning of Barbara's email, with a link to the original blog post on which it's based. My reply appears below.

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April 22, 2006

Mr. Lyons

I just read your article about the Christian right and the neo-cons. I have my own theory about the neo-cons and i wonder if you could tell me what you think about it.

Thank you


People usually think of the neo-cons and the liberals as being the opposites of one another and that is true regarding many important issues. Yet in a fundamental way they are the same. Both are busy stirring up hatred against Christians and waging war on American culture and the religion that most of the people in the United States claim to believe....

[For the original blog-published version of this essay, click here]

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May 22, 2006

Thank you for your April 22 email with the essay "Liberals and Neocons are Flip Sides of the Same Coin," excerpted from your blog, The Southern Journal. Your work illustrates how right-wing ideas influence people who don't fit into standard right-wing categories -- even people who are or used to be on the left. In the April 22 email, you argue that neocons and liberals together represent a new power elite that's trying to overthrow the traditional aristocracy, that they're undermining traditional American culture and stirring up hatred against Christians and southerners, that they favor Israeli interests over U.S. ones. These are old claims that paleoconservatives such as Pat Buchanan have been making for years. You back up your argument with quotations from the National Humanities Institute website, a paleocon outfit.

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May 6, 2006

Labour gets a kicking in British Elections

The results are in and the British Labour Party didnt do so well.

The British National Party (a political party heavily numbered by UK fascists who are taking the popular, electoral road rather than the paramilitary) made gains in previously strong Labour areas. From the BBC: "BNP leader Nick Griffin said the party had benefited from 'people wanting to kick the Labour Party really hard and we're the politically incorrect way to do it'."

The Tories, who are the conservative and traditional opposition to Labour, also made a showing. But I wonder if, taking Griffin's words as legit, the BNP got those votes because long-time but now disillusioned Labour party supporters see the Tories as ineffective as Labour and thus the BNP becomes a type of protest vote.

Another factor for the BNP's gaining of seats is it's hard anti-immigration stance. Like here in the States, there is a growing and reactionary trend amongst the populace (predominantley White Western-Euro) that see's immigration as a threat to the established and ruling culture. A vote for the BNP becomes a ballot box protest against the Arabs, Africans, and Eastern Europeans who are making Britain their new home.

May 4, 2006

the following in an excerpt taken from and is a report discussing the rise in anti-immigration groups and their cross-over with far-right and fascist groups.

From the article, Anti-immigrant Hate Rhetoric and Racist Violence :
Lawless, who was an original member of Chris Simcox's vigilante militia before it became the Minuteman Project in early 2005, suggested a number of ways to harass and terrorise undocumented immigrants, including robbery and ''beating up illegals'' as they leave their workplace.

''Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status... I hear the rednecks in the South are beating up illegals as the textile mills have closed. Use your imagination,'' Lawless wrote.

''Create an anonymous propaganda campaign warning that any further illegal immigrants will be shot, maimed or seriously messed-up upon crossing the border. This should be fairly easy to do, considering the hysteria of the Spanish language press, and how they view the Minutemen as 'racists and vigilantes".

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May 3, 2006

The Rise of the Migrant Workers' Movement

by James Petras
From Counter Punch

Between March 25 and May 1, 2006 close to 5 million migrant workers and their supporters marched through nearly 100 cities of the United States. This is the biggest and most sustained workers' demonstration in the history of the US...

...The movement's immediate objective is to defeat congressional legislation designed to criminalize employed migrant workers and a "compromise" designed to divide recently arrived workers from older workers. The key demand of the migrant workers is the legalization of all workers, new and old. The choice of direct action methods is a response to the ineffectiveness of the legalistic and lobbying activities of established middle-class controlled Latino organizations and the near-total failure of the labor confederation and its affiliates to organize migrant workers in trade unions or even build solidarity organizations...

...the movement was organized without a big bureaucratic trade union apparatus, and with a minimum budget on the basis of voluntary workers through horizontal communication...

...Finally the movement faces the problem of the uneven development of the struggle within the working class and between regions of the country. Most "Anglo workers" are at best passive while probably over half perceive migrant workers as a threat to their jobs, salaries and neighborhoods. The general absence of any anti-racist, class-based education by the trade union bureaucracy makes working class unity a difficult task.

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