Cheers Tim, but we already know what Fascists are


2:33 pm - June 9th 2009

by Unity    


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I see, from Sunny’s post in the small hours of this morning, that Tim Mongomerie has swiftly tried to capitalise on the election of Nick Griffin and opportunistically use it as a vehicle to promote the fiction that the BNP are, if not a Far-Left political organisation, then one that should not be identified as belonging to the Far-Right.

Sadly, it already appears his misconceived whining has born misshapen fruit, with Kate Sanderson casually tacking the sentiment “or as some say ‘far-left'” as an aside on a reference to the BNP as being ‘far-right’ during this mornings BBC Breakfast.

The problem being that, as a politically illiterate Neocon with no history or background in anti-Fascist activism, Montgomerie hasn’t got the foggiest idea what a duck is.

Somewhat ironically, Montgomerie is attempting to play out this line of propaganda at a time when the reappearance of Andrew Brons on White Nationalist scene provides the clearest possible roadmap to the true roots and origins of the BNP’s economic policies, which Montgomeries both wilfully and ignorantly misidentifies as being of a ‘socialist’ derivation.

Brons was a key figure in the British Neo-Nazi movement that emerged in the 1962, cutting his political teeth as a member of Colin Jordan’s ‘National Socialist Movement‘, which was, itself, a splinter group of the original British National Party, alongside a number of other, somewhat more  notorious British Neo-Nazis; John Tyndall, Martin Webster and Denis Pirie, all of whom were, along with Jordan, imprisoned under the 1936 Public Order Act as a consequence of their efforts to set up ‘Spearhead’ as a paramilitary wing of the NSM.

The NSM eventually folded in 1968, with the remnants of the group reconstituing as the British Movement, by which time Tyndall, Webster and Pirie had found their way into the then-newly formed National Front, via Tyndall’s own Greater Britian Movement, while Brons made his way to the same political destination via the British National Party.

Despite never attaining either the public profile or notoriety of a Tyndall, Webster or, latterly, Griffin, Brons is, nevertheless, a pivotal figure in the development of modern-day British Fascism and, crucially, is widely credited with both the reintroduction of Strasserism into the economic ideology of National Front in the early 1980 and , particularly, with the introduction of distributism into the modern Fascist canon, these being the true ideological roots of the BNP’s current economic policy, albeit that the link to Strasserism has been carefully concealed by Nick Griffin for reasons which will become all too obvious in a moment.

Strasserism was/is a particular strand of Nazism/Neo-Nazism which emerged in the 1920s in Germany (naturally) and which was associated with, and named after,  the brothers Gregor and Otto Strasser, both of whom were contemporaries and, latterly, opponents of Adolf Hitler – Otto was expelled from the NSDAP (Nazi Party) in 1930 before fleeing Germany in 1933 for, first, Czechoslovakia and then Canada. Gregor, remained in Germany and a member of the NSDAP until his assassination in 1934, during the infamous ‘Night of the Long Knives‘.

It is from Strasserism that many of components of the BNP’s economic policy that Montgomerie wrongly identifies as ‘Far-Left’ are derived.

Strasserism does, to a small extent, borrow one key concept from revolutionary socialism, that of radical mass-action rooted in and supported by the working classes, but its other key feature, vehement opposition to finance capitalism and the free market, has nothing whatsoever to do with Marxism’s critique of capitalism, its concern with the exploitation and alienation of the industrial working class, or the pivotal socialist concept of workers’ control of the mean of production.

Rather, Strasserism’s anti-capitalist outlook is rooted exclusively in anti-Semitism and in the false, and pernicious, belief that the international financial system is controlled by ‘The Jews’.

That’s Griffin’s dirty little secret. The very policies he promotes in an effort to attract the disaffected working class are rooted not in genuine concern for the plight of British workers but in a raft a bizarre anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in which global capitalism is held to be in thrall to, variously: the Elders of Zion, the Illuminati, New World Order, Zionist Occupation Government and/or the Freemasons, all of which explains why, much to Griffin’s chagrin, the Far-Right also attract more than its fair share of idiot who believe that Jews are no more than servants of our true reptilian overlords.

Strasserism intially found its way on the British Fascist scene in the early 1970’s, via the influence of David McCalden, Richard Lawson and Denis Pirie, but failed to take hold due, in the main, to the usual run of splits and factionalisation that still, even today, characterises Fascist politics in the UK. It was, however, reintroduced in the Fascist ‘mainstream’, which was then the National Front, by Brons, but was quickly adopted by the radical of the ‘Political Soldier’ wing of the NF, which later split away to form the ‘Official National Front‘ and which then pulled in Richard Lawton to work behind the scenes to develop policy.

One of the key figures in both the Official National Front and in the early stages of the development of the International Third Position, an alliance of British and Italian Fascists, was a then-yong Nick Griffin.

In addition to reintroducing Strasserism into the British Fascist canon, Brons other – and perhaps most important – contribution to the development of modern British Fascism rests in his introduction of distributism into the economic ideology of the National Front.

Distributism is an early attempt to develop an economic ‘third way’, one rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and most closely associated with markedly conservative Roman Catholic figures, most notably GK Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. It is, perhaps, best summed up by Chesterton’s comment that “”Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.”

What Chesterton and Belloc envisaged was an economic system which sat between [indirect/state] socialism, which they believed allowed no one to own productive property, and [free market] capitalism, in which the ownership of property and wealth was, and is, concentrated in a relative small number of large corporations and wealthy individuals. It’s a doctrine that holds that the ownership of productive property and, consequence, of the mean of production, should be distributed as widely as possible, creating a society of artisans (or, perhaps, a nation of shopkeepers) an one that the BNP explicitly adopted in its 2005 General Election manifesto…

Since we are not egalitarian socialists, it is not our intention to run around expropriating existing businesses, but we are determined to ensure that social justice is done, and the incentive value of personal ownership is built-in to as much of our rebuilt manufacturing economy as possible.

Wherever new industries are created, therefore, worker-ownership schemes will be implemented as far as is practical. In smaller concerns the presumption will be in favour of workers’ co-operatives; in larger ones for share-ownership, profit-sharing and management board places. This plan to extend personal private ownership is not an optional whim, but an integral part of our entire vision for Britain. Nor is it confined to the means of industrial production. The fresh food sections of supermarkets, in particular, are a prime target for conversion into owner-run ‘urban markets’. And in view of their bosses’ long record of exploiting British consumers and farmers, and of financing political parties and unhealthy technologies guaranteed to give them even more clout and profits, the supermarkets are entirely legitimate targets for radical and legally enforced change.

The same is true of land ownership, particularly arable land. As noted in our section on Agriculture, the creation of an entire new class of independent family farms is atthe core of our plans for Britain’s countryside, food production and increased health.

We have no intention of setting the disastrous precedent of expropriation of existing landowners – with the exception of speculators and such like who are actually guiltyof crimes such as tax evasion and fraud against present laws. But we will undertake a series of measures intended to create the circumstances in which large numbers of young people can obtain the training, experience, land, homes and capital they needto return to the land of their ancestors as productive owner-farmers.

What’s interesting about that passage is that – if we ignore the nationalist rhetoric – there are ideas put forward that would not look out of place in the manifesto of a democratic socialist party, or one of Jesse Norman’s pamplets of Cameroonian ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ or even in a discussion of Rothbardian ‘homesteading’ – so are we to conclude that the BNP’s economic outlook now belongs to the centre-left, the centre-right or even to the libertarian right?

In truth, the answer to that question is ‘none of the above’.

While the form of distributism adopted by modern Fascism bears some superficial resemblance to its Catholic antecedent, as set out by Chesterton and Belloc, when couple with the Fascism’s permissiveness toward big business, corporate interests and authoritarian statism it more closely comes to resemble the corporativism of the original Italian Fascist movement from which Fascism’s ‘Far-Right’ appellation is, at least in part, derived.

Consequently, it is possible to argue that the BNP belong to the ‘Far-Left’ if, and only if, one is a political iliiterate operating in a state of almost total ignorance of any kind of political thought other than that which you profess to subscribe to.

Culture wars
This entire BNP/Far-Left meme is intended to serve two very distinct propaganda purposes, both of which we should be mindful of and oppose.

The first, and most obvious, is the Neocon’s crude attempt to appropriate for the right, the very concept of liberty itself, even though, as is so often the case – and this is particular true when it comes to god-bothering anti-abortionists like Tim Montgomerie – such claims readily and routinely fall apart no soon as one begins to address the question of social liberty.

Montogomerie’s second objective is a rather more interesting one in as much as he is associated with a rather dubious Neoconservative American venture which calls itself the Anglosphere Institute and which actively promotes a doctrine of ‘Anglospheric Exceptionalism’, going so far, even as to suggest that…

The Anglosphere perspective suggests that the English-speaking nations have not only formed a distinct branch of Western civilization for most of history, they are now becoming a distinct civilization in their own right.

Really?

Personally, this looks a lot an attempt to extend the now discredited doctrines espoused by the defunct PNAC into the rest of the English-speaking world on the back of a doctrine of exceptionalism which could easily turn into, or even turn out to be,  nothing more than plain old white supremacism with a winning smile and a sociology degree.

To be perfectly honest here, the question of the whether the BNP are ‘Far-Right’ or ‘Far-Left’ actually strikes me as a much less important than that of the increasing extent to which Neocon arseholes like Tim Montgomerie are turning up all over the Tory Party and making a concerted attempt import America’s wretched ‘culture wars’ into Britain.

British Liberalism and the British Left alike share a long and honourable tradition of opposing Fascism in all its forms, and that goes as much for American Clerical Fascism as is does for good old fashioned Nazism.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


The British Left has a more patchy record when it comes to Islamic Clerical Fascism however!

What you’re talking about there is simply a small and wholly unrepresentative part of the British Left that was disavowed by the mainstream long before Islamism became a significant issue.

Does it matter whether they are left or right?

In fact they are a bit of both, socially right wing, economically left wing, but in the end the best way to describe them would be: “a horrible bunch of nasty little facist, racist twats”.

4. Richard (the original)

In Otto Strasser’s The Structure of German Socialism he called for the nationalisation of the land and factories as well as setting up some sort of guild system. There’s a strong case to be made that Strasserism is a form of left-wing fascism simply because it’s very near in theory to that odd ideology known as National Bolshevism.

Despite what Brons may have thought, the NF didn’t adopt Strasserism at any point. It did go in for distributism though.

I suppose my point is that there’s a debate to be had over whether “normal” fascism is right or left-wing, but that Strasserism is definitely a subset of the left.

Brilliant piece. Love the last bit especially.

Not just Strasser who was anti-semtic though, was it?

Here’s Isaiah Berlin on Marx:

“As for the Jews, in [“On the Jewish Question,” Marx] declared them to be a repellent symptom of the social malaise of the time, an excrescence upon the social body – not a race, or a nation, or even a religion to be saved by conversion to some other faith or way of life, but a collection of parasites, a gang of money-lenders rendered inevitable by the economically self-contradictory and unjust society that had generated them – to be eliminated as a group by the final solution to all social ills – the coming, inescapable, universal, social revolution. The violently anti-Semitic tone… became more and more characteristic of Marx in his later years… and is one of the most neurotic and revolting aspects of his masterful but vulgar personality.”

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/06/09/karl-marx-radical-antisemitism-ii/

Sunny – you do keep late hours!!

How’s the letter coming on?!

“Not just Strasser who was anti-semtic though, was it?”

But, cjcj, Marx’s anti-capitalism wasn’t a product of anti-semitism.

Soz – cjcjc.

If you say so.

From what I can see, a lot of the ‘Are they left or right?’ debate stems from the issue of economic nationalisation. While I have no reason to doubt the anti-semetic roots of their policies, the fact of the matter is that anyone (BNP or otherwise) going round calling for nationalism of industries and kicking out foreign competitors is always going to look strongly left-of-centre.

3 Stirring Up Apathy’s comments above raised this issue, but I’m surprised that Unity didn’t really emphasise this very much. Then again, wanting to reduce the phenomenal power of the major supermarket chains is not exactly hardcore socialist, more common sense – but that’s for another day.

From what I can see, a lot of the ‘Are they left or right?’ debate stems from the issue of economic nationalisation.

No it doesn’t.

cjcj: How’s the letter coming on?!

I’m going to write it up for the Guardian. Gonna take slightly longer. The neo-cons are not going to take this one 🙂

13. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

“Despite what Brons may have thought, the NF didn’t adopt Strasserism at any point. It did go in for distributism though. ”

The NF might not have done, but I’m 100% certain one of those nutty splinter groups (possibly the one led by cyclops, forget the name atm) claimed to have adopted Strasserism in the eighties just so they could try and get support off the working class whilst the NF kept on with their ‘striking is a Judeo-communist plot to bring down the country’ line.

“I suppose my point is that there’s a debate to be had over whether “normal” fascism is right or left-wing, but that Strasserism is definitely a subset of the left.”

I’d probably agree, which sort of explains why Gregor was killed and Otto was named ‘public enemy number one’ by Goebbels after he was forced to leg it.

“The British Left has a more patchy record when it comes to Islamic Clerical Fascism however!”

You really are an unwitting dog turd aren’t you.

Don’t stay up too late – get some sleep for goodness sake!

You really are an unwitting dog turd aren’t you.

Maybe. But what I said is true.

…a lot of the ‘Are they left or right?’ debate stems from the issue of economic nationalisation.

I thought it stemmed from a lot of right wing bloggers and chancers attempting to recast their own politics as freedom, cuddles and hot chicks with big hooters, while pretending that everyone who disagrees with them is Darth Vader.

Still, at least they’re agreed about how nasty the BNP are, which is more than can be said for much of their readership. You’d think such bloggers might notice that it’s the people who comment on right wing blogs who are prone to kicking off on mad conspiracy theories about Labour importing sympathetic immigrants to cancel out the ever-so-Tory Englishman’s vote, etc. etc. and draw a lesson or two from that.

I guess people can believe anything, if they’re determined enough.

Just want to say, I found this very informative and accessible for the politically illiterate amongst us (ie, me). Thank you very much for this, Unity.

18. Richard (the original)

“The NF might not have done, but I’m 100% certain one of those nutty splinter groups (possibly the one led by cyclops, forget the name atm) claimed to have adopted Strasserism in the eighties just so they could try and get support off the working class whilst the NF kept on with their ’striking is a Judeo-communist plot to bring down the country’ line.”

True, a lot of so-called strasserites probably don’t realise just how left-wing strasserism actually was. It wasn’t a case of nationalising a few factories and creating a few workers co-ops, it was pretty much communistic.

@4:
In Otto Strasser’s The Structure of German Socialism he called for the nationalisation of the land and factories as well as setting up some sort of guild system.

But, although they would remain theoretically in communal trust, Strasser calls for those appropriated lands and industries to be re-apportioned between “worthy” citizens as effective fiefdoms. Despite the title, there is nothing socialist in Strasser’s programme – it is neo-feudalism, from a man who believed that everything that had happened since the 1500s had been liberal perversion.

I suppose my point is that there’s a debate to be had over whether “normal” fascism is right or left-wing, but that Strasserism is definitely a subset of the left.

The notion that drives Strasser’s programme is national sovereignty above all else. That is not a left-wing strain. Certainly, Strasser and anyone else in Germany in the Twenties and Thirties would have been aghast to hear it described as such, because he literally was taking the ideas that held current in all of the German conservative parties of the day, to their extreme conclusion.

The right-wing attempt to cast feudalism and feudalist parties as left-wing is particularly odious and historically illiterate. Meh, what d’you expect from the right?

…a lot of the ‘Are they left or right?’ debate stems from the issue of economic nationalisation.

No – the ‘they are definitely Left, honest’ non-debate stems from economic arguments.

But frankly, and with no disrespect to Unity, I’m constantly amazed by the amount of scrutiny the BNP’s fucking economic policies get put under because of this repeated fake debate.

Does anyone really believe that they gained or lost a single vote because of their economic policies? No-one – at all – gives the slightest fuck about their economic policies, apart from a handful of right-wing bloggers.

Why don’t the media just refer to the BNP as a ‘Fascist Party’ rather than upsetting anyone with left or right… Then we can be left to discuss weather fascism is a far-left or far-right ideology.

First things first. Arguing whether the BNP are right or leftwing is about a pointless a debate as you can have.

That said, Unity’s piece is excellent and informed. I too loved the last two paragraphs.

It amazes me that Tim Mongomerie would be so enthralled by the culture wars – when it’s clear they’re increasingly being rejected by an economically-concerned American populace. Also, we’re not – unlike Mongomerie – a religious people.

I can, though, see why Monty would want a culture war. As we’ve seen in America, polarising moral divisions negate the need for real policies and paralyse politics. I can see why this would appeal to Tories.

24. Fellow Traveller

Since when is a nation of independent shop keepers and small holding farmers or a share-owning democracy a Marxist-Leninist practice? Have ye no heard of collectivisation in the Soviet Union and the persecution of the Kulaks?

The BNP see the Kulaks as the backbone of their movement – they want to establish them in the countryside where they don’t currently exist, not eliminate them. Much as the Nazis planned to do in Eastern Europe once they’d removed the indigenous Slav and Jewish population. Blood and soil.

As for Marx’s putative anti-Semitism, it seems strange that the Bolsheviks (and other European social democrats) attracted so many Jewish members including prominent leaders such as Lev Davidovitch Bronstein and Rosa Luxemborg.

Even so, English socialism as it developed owed very little to Marx.

Does anyone really believe that they gained or lost a single vote because of their economic policies?

I do. You will notice that the BNP tend to do best in traditionally Labour areas, just as UKIP does best in the Tories home ground.

Surprise, surprise….. a Neo con does not recognise a brown shirt when he sees it.

And in other news, up is down, down is up.

The bigger, and more worrying question is………. Are The BNP working in cahoots with the Tory party? If you look at where the BNP is spending most of its money it is in areas that are traditionally Labour supporting areas. You don’t see too much BNP money spent in the Tory shires. If they can split votes away form the Labour party and maybe even take a few seats it all helps the Tory party. No wonder CH wants to put out the message that the BNP is left wing. But then the Tory party has always has had a soft spot for fascists. Just look at some of the goons Cameron is getting into bed with in the European Parliament.

There is no question that the BNP is Right wing, anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.
Of course we will get the usual denials from the brown shirt trolls, but who cares.

27. Shatterface

I’d already mentioned Marx’s anti-Semitism on the other thread before cjcjc brought it up; you’ll find similar sentiments in Marx’s socialist contemporaries and also, alas, in anarchists like Proudhon and Bakunin.

Sadly, anti-Semitism has been endemic for much of the last two thousand years and it seems pointless to identify it with any particular ideology. To expect Marx, etc to somehow stand outside of a world in which the agenda was largely set by Christianity is to expect them to be superhuman.

However racism is not the foundation on which either statist or libertarian socialism are built: Marxism and anarchism do not stand or fall on outdated racialist attitudes, and modern socialists do not share the sexist or homophobic attitudes of those that founded the movement.

Look at any anti-racist (or anti-sexist, or anti-homophobic) campaign of the last century and you’ll find the left at the front of it.

As it were.

How about a different strategy towards the BNP: fuck the twats that voted for them, who knew that the BNP were a racist party and yet still voted for them when they could’ve voted UKIP if they wanted an anti-Europe protest vote.

Instead, inspire all of the people who don’t vote from ethnic minority backgrounds along with anti-racist campaigners to unite and defeat the BNP in their areas. There are just under 1 million BNP voters in the UK but millions more who didn’t vote for them or didn’t vote at all. Let’s focus on those who already think racism is bad and that the country is going to the dogs because of immigration. If you want to waste your time trying to convince anyone who thinks there are “too many brown people” in the UK to think otherwise, go for it. I will spit in their faces and instead talk to people who aren’t racist cunts.

Sorry for the harsh language but a vote for these people is a vote for a party that wants to “re-patriate” me and all other non-whites to “where we came from”. Fuck them and those that voted for them, and the wankers that make excuses for those voters.

29. Shatterface

Incidentally, describing the BNP as ‘left-wing’ on the basis of some half-arsed nods to the working class is like describing Mussolini’s Fascists as a public transport pressure group because they got the trains running on time.

30. AnonyMouse

As usual, it seems that some Tories/libertarians are throwing smoke in people’s eyes by claiming the BNP are ‘left-wing’. I could equally claim that Stalin was right-wing [after all, he was a Russian nationalist, believed in a harsh criminal ‘justice’ system, hated social democrats and was anti-abortion].

More amusingly, the Danish market-liberal party calls itself Venstre [which means ‘Left’]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venstre_(Denmark)

I am waiting for the fools who claim that the Nazis were left-wing because they had ‘socialist’ in their name to now claim that Thatcherism is left-wing because the Danish free-market liberals happen to call themselves ‘left’

31. Shatterface

…Or that the Soviet Union had anything to do with workers councils!

… or that East Germany was a democratic reublic.

… or that Apartheid South Africa was “left wing”.

The Tory party is very quick to use the national socialist tag to blame the Nazis on the left.

“look, look they have the word socialist in their title so it must be left wing.”

Back in the 1930s both here and in America The Conservatives had a big soft spot for Hitler. Like him they hated trade unions. They also did not like the Jews. (that is not to say they wanted to put them in the ovens) but they did not like Jews. They also had a love of the aristocracy and the notion of some people being born to rule, both in Britain and in Germany.

Not long before his death Alan Clark the Tory politician and diarist admitted he was a fascist and claimed that Britain should have sued for peace with Hitler in 1940. The American Republicans like to boast about America coming to save Europe in world war 2. But the truth is the reason America took so long to enter the war was because the same Republicans had little problem with Hitler. Roosevelt could not get them to support America entering the war. We can thank Japan for changing that.

“Are The BNP working in cahoots with the Tory party? If you look at where the BNP is spending most of its money it is in areas that are traditionally Labour supporting areas”

Perhaps food for thought when it comes to the conspiracy theories only appearing on right-wing blogs?

“Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.

The advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty.”

I wish I’d written that.

37. Fellow Traveller

To expect Marx, etc to somehow stand outside of a world in which the agenda was largely set by Christianity is to expect them to be superhuman.

Friedrich Nietzsche protested strongly against anti-Semites including the one who married his sister.

Oh wait, he was superhuman.

Didn’t let no Christians in his car neither.

38. Fellow Traveller

…the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals.

I don’t understand what you mean by ‘humans’.

And yet the Nazis loved Nietzche! Oh its all so confusing.

@35:

I’m hoping Sally is just trolling the right-wingers.

@36: I wish I’d written that.

Yes – it might have been more convincing if you’d written, rather than someone who is on record as believing that 95% of black men are criminals.

41. Chris Baldwin

It all comes down to that sort of “Political Compass” thinking. The idea that you can understand the concept of the left-right spectrum without reference to history. Problem is, you can’t.

42. Fellow Traveller

NIetzsche also derided Wagner and his music as a disease afflicting all of Europe yet Hitler adored Wagner (and allegedly gave the nod to the bits of Fred he’d heard about).

Explanation: Fred’s anti-Semitic sister, Elizabeth, extensively edited his work into popular German editions and removed all the attacks on Jew hating Wagnerians and on beer swilling German nationalists (the kind who made up the bulk of Hitler’s early fans).

Greg@40

I think you’ll find that the writer denied saying any such thing.

In any case, I prefer the quote I used.

Good spot though.

http://blogs.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/exposure/2009/06/did_you_vote_against_the_bnp_1.html

Although I prefer: if you live in the NW or Yorks, and you didn’t vote, fuck you.

Take out the race policy and the rest of the BNP’s policies are a carbon copy of Michael Foots 1983 Labour manifesto,obviously a far left party however much the left don’t like it.

46. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

I hear they can fly as well.

47. Mr. Feathers

What do the neoliberals in the Tory party think about tradition? They don’t give a toss, just like the neoliberals in New “Labour” don’t.

As usual with you, you’re talking about this ideal Conservatism that only exists in your own head. Do you seriously imagine most CF members, for example, share your outlook on life?

48. Shatterface

Roger (45): take out the racist policies and you’re left with fuck all.

49. AnonyMouse

I note no one has made any response to my post pointing out the Danish market-liberals are called ‘Left’ in their traditional title. The fact is left and right evolve over time.

In the 19th century, the “Left” believed in markets over the old Corn Laws and feudal hangovers like that. The “Right” believed in tradition and against the disruptive and atomising forces of the market. The modern, ahistorical free-market libertarians who call themselves ‘right-wing’ seem to have missed that point about right-wing history. The Nazis dislike for the free market comes from this old right-wing tradition of associating the market with liberalism, dynamism and other forces that broke down traditional feudal society.

I would argue that, until the 1890s, the “centre-left” Liberals were more pro-free-market than the “centre-right” Conservatives here in Britain.

50. Mr. Jeremy

Hopi Sen has a post today that inadvertently sheds some light on the subject. He quotes an abusive letter he has received from a BNP sympathiser who (among other things) asks him whether he is ”riddled with self hatred like the rest of the (white?) lefties who wish to destroy the position of white people in the UK” Clearly no love lost between this BNP supporter and lefties, at least. I hasten a guess that the letter writer is not untypical among BNP supporters in this regard.

“It is from Strasserism that many of components of the BNP’s economic policy that Montgomerie wrongly identifies as ‘Far-Left’ are derived.

“Strasserism does, to a small extent, borrow one key concept from revolutionary socialism, that of radical mass-action rooted in and supported by the working classes, but its other key feature, vehement opposition to finance capitalism and the free market, has nothing whatsoever to do with Marxism’s critique of capitalism, its concern with the exploitation and alienation of the industrial working class, or the pivotal socialist concept of workers’ control of the mean of production.”

It is a revealing passage, though not, as the author might imagine, about the nature of Leftism and its history, upon which it has little truthful bearing, but rather about the inherited prejudice of the author; for, in support of his claim that Strasserism is not Leftist, or very little so, he adduces the claim that Strasserism’s opposition to finance capitalism and the free market had nothing whatsoever to do with Marxism’s critique of capitalism, etc; or, in other words, his enthymeme reads as follows:

Strasserism is not derived from Marxism.
Therefore,
Strasserism is not Leftist.

The suppressed premise, which makes the argument a valid one, ought to be obvious:

That which is not derived from Marxism is not Leftist.

Well, what else can one expect from the triumphant and universalistic mentality which comes by way of Marxism? Still, that said, it is true that we are all now rather thoughtlessly inclined to define Leftism in somewhat Marxian terms, since Marxism, which was once just one faction on the Left, has been inordinately successful in dominating it and has thereby had the power to promote its sole claim to it. (Although its grip has recently slipped to the benefit of more amorphous and less doctrinaire forms, the long-forgotten propaganda and the old frames of discourse will have their effects for centuries.) Yet it is a gross historical error — and of course fully in accord with Marxian historical revisionism — to label as right-wing those past groups and ideologies which have just as much claim to be part of the history of Leftism as does Marxism.

Into the notoriously, though needlessly, tangled matter of what is right-wing and what is left-wing, I have no wish to delve, since almost everyone seems to wish to use the terms wilfully, especially in the perennially-favourite game of Pin-The-Hitler-on-Somebody-Else. Nevertheless, any reasonable understanding of the history of Leftism requires that one actually read the books of those men of the Left who wrote one or two hundred years ago.

If I were to take some of the words of, say, G.B. Shaw, H.G. Wells, Karl Pearson, and other leading leftist-progressives of a century ago, all of whose books are freely available for those who wish to read them, and if I were to pretend that those words were my own, I would doubtless be called a far-right-winger and a reactionary (which, by an amusing coincidence, is what I am). Of course, there is a good reason for this: finding yesterday’s progressive policy to be better than today’s is indeed reactionary in a trivial sense. But also, more importantly, the ground has been moving to the left for two hundred years. Yesterday’s left-winger is today’s “right-winger”, who is just a foot-dragger, or “a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal”, if you prefer. (There are hardly any so-called right-wing Tories alive today who bear much relation to those who bore that name in the eighteenth or the nineteenth or even the early twentieth century. If a present-day “Tory” were somehow sent back to those times, he would, on most matters, stand to the left of even the most extreme Whig or radical. It is little but the name that remains. Similarly, if the most radical, republican, nationalistic, Jacobin-sympathising Whig were transported to our own times, he would be considered to be on the far-right on many matters.) That phenomenon is simply a function of the “progress” of Leftism, which, in one form or another, and with a few minor set-backs, and despite the best efforts of the blessed Metternich to hold it back, has been winning for a long time.

In view of the tradition of Leftism, which is not to be identified with Marxism, or socialism per se, we see lines passing back through the aforementioned writers, and other Fabian thinkers, as well as Marx and Engels, Owen, Fourier, Saint-Simon, going all the way back to the French Revolution, and Robespierre, Babeuf, the philosophes, and even further back to developments in England and Geneva, and so on; and we see that there is little that is odd in adding the socialistic, nationalistic, and republican beliefs of the Nazis to the top of the list. (If you read the likes of Karl Pearson and H.G. Wells, you will see what I mean. As for nationalism, it was not of the old order, of which the right-wing was a defender, but rather was born in the French Revolution, at the nominally-visible beginning of the Left.) This is not to say, however, that Nazism did not have a reactionary or right-wing aspect. To some degree, it was a reaction against the advance of Leftism, rather than being in that respect a rival strain of it, which is why it also appealed to some conservatives and reactionaries, more so when the more radical and progressive left-wing elements, the Strasserians and the “National Bolsheviks” and suchlike had been purged or converted to the more pragmatic Hitlerism, but especially as it stood opposed to that most dreaded and bloody horror of all: Bolshevism.

Anyway, if is it any consolation to you Leftists, reckon on this: you have been the wave of the future for two hundred years, even your “right-wing” opponents are just the flotsam-leftists of yesterday, and it does not appear that anything can stop you. On the other hand, you might not like where you are going to end up.

“Take out the race policy and the rest of the BNP’s policies are a carbon copy of Michael Foots 1983 Labour manifesto,obviously a far left party however much the left don’t like it.”

Oh the stupid it burns. Tell me , can you count past 5? . It is CH who are the ones getting their knickers in a twist troll.

Conservatives always try to paint brownshirts as left wing. It is part of their arrogance that every extreme is on the left. Just like they think only Conservatives are funny, and only the Conservative media is any good, and only Conservatives are really pro Britain, and only Conservatives blah blah blah.

Funny it is all so like Hitler’s master race nonsense.

Ach, the Political Compass – the first post I ever did on my blog was a pisstake of it that resulted in the name I took, since I considered it such an obvious, obvious hoax… and here we are, three years later, still talking about “libertarian” and “authoritarian” axes, as if they were more than mere bollocks designed to relieve right wing loonies of their obvious economic royalism.

It’s depressing, it really is. They stick blowjobs on one side and champagne on the other, and nobody smells a rat?*

*Not an airborne one, obviously.

….And shit-flavoured socialist champagne on the other, that should’ve been. Screw my editing skills.

55. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

@46

1. Churchill and Balfour (as well as plenty in the US where tens of thousands were forcibly sterilised, Prescott Bush was probably the most notable in favour of eugenics which explains why he did so much business with the Nazis) were both massive fans of eugenics, the latter addressed the international congress on eugenics, the first of which was held in London and the latter offered to be its vice chairman, in fairness he was probably in his default state of ‘pissed’ as per.

“The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate … I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.” – Churchill in a letter to Asquith.

2. conservatives (Conservatives don’t exist, there are certainly none in any position of influence) are ‘concerned’ about immigration because they haven’t got the courage of their claimed convictions and don’t think the market can adequately regulate the flow of the most important factor (according to Smith) of production, though obviously the 5.5 million Britons who live abroad are inevitably free to leave, conservatives aren’t interested in regulating them. Capital and raw materials are, as ever, to be allowed to do as they please.

Of course the easiest way to solve this little question is to pop along to stormfront, start a thread asking all the lefties to reply and report back with how many you get.

Classifying fascist parties based on their economic policies makes about as much sense as discussing them based on what brand of toothpaste they usually buy Economics is just something they don’t especially care about, something they vaguely recognise they have to get through. A routine chore before they can get to the meaty stuff about race war.

Economically, fascists are just about always some variety of moderate, depending on what moderate means in the relevant time, place and target demographic. Economically, the BNP are closer to the Liberal Democrats than any other current UK political party.

It’s a characteristically Marxist error to think that matters: that you must have some radically different and extreme understanding of economics if you seek radical and extreme political change.

Start from a perfectly conventional, ‘moderate’, understanding of economics, but add racial detention camps, and you’ll get a radical change all right…

57. Keir Hardie

If both the Left and Right (and especially the Libertaians) spent more time thinking about real ideological policies that differentiate them (thus creating some purpose in operating a ballot based democracy), rather than worrying about the BNP (who will lose primarily because the average Moslem has six children, and will within a couple of generations simply outbreed us all) then the electoral system would make sense to people and they may bother to vote.

The collection of cunts at the top of their party piles are like triplets, and thus what is the precise point of voting? The BNP is popular because it is predominately the poor, the ill educated and the hopeless whom immigration socially and economically hurts the worst.

Immigrants usually start at the bottom of the puile – where they join the millions already at the bottom, stretching the piss poor, shitty social services, welfare and fag-end of the jobs market to breaking point.

Of course, aside from the odd retard Leftie who chooses to live on a Council Estate, the vast majority of political commentators, debaters and talkers are alright, choosing their neighbours, their work and their friends. Fucktards like Polly Toynbee and Michael Gove of course love immigration – as do all of you – because it serves your economic and social needs well.

Finally – there are a number of posters on here who are of the all BNP voters are Swastika hugging nazis . These people are cunts. Had the main political parties not indulged in a ten year daisy chain then the BNP wouldn’t get vote #1; BNP vote = hopelessness.

58. Keir Hardie

NB Moslems do have large families – not a dig, just a fact, as they are pro-marriage, see sex primarily as a reproductive act, and have little sympathy for the psychotic marxist eugenicists of Family Planning. Good on them.
I live for the day when the Moslems do take power: their tolerance for political expression is known for being slight, you know.

59. Shatterface

(59): they said that about Catholics.

Tim Montgomerie is a Neo con moron.

This is the guy who was the right hand man of Ian Duncan Smith, who took Bush’s hollow bullshit slogan of Compassionate Conservatism. (Never has there been a more dishonest slogan than that.) Now we know that Bush was using torture to get people to say what Cheney /Bush wanted to hear. Namely that there was a link between Iraq and 9/11 it is clear that Tim would not know Compassionate if it slapped him in the face. Is it not time that Timmy apologised for that sack of shit?

Silly me, Neo cons never apologise and they never take responsibility for their actions.

@kier hardie: cite for the assertion that the average British Muslim has 6 children? The UK data says that Bangladeshi-born and Pakistani-born women have around 4. I can’t find any stats on second-generation Muslims in the UK specifically, but all data from everywhere [literally – I haven’t found any counterexamples] suggests that fertility rates among second-generation women are closer to that of the native population than those of their parents’ countries.

You foolish fools! Can’t you see what is wrong here?
It is the reductionist shoe-horning of complex and disparate belief structures into the false dichotomy of “left” and “right”.

Why are you all tying yourselves in unproductive knots trying to make sense of nonsense, as if it had some objective validity?

Come on people, think it through…

An example of the neo con bull that Tim likes…..Sounds very Nazi to me.

In 2 weeks, US citizen Naji Hamdan will be tried in the United Arab Emirates
for “nonspecific charges of ‘promoting terrorism.’”
Last July, Hamdan was “summoned” to the US Embassy in UAE:
He drove two hours through the desert heat from Dubai to answer questions from FBI agents who had arrived from Los Angeles, where Hamdan had gone to school, started a family, built a successful auto-parts business and become a U.S. citizen. Six weeks later, men kidnapped and rendered him from his apartment for his imprisonment in UAE, where he was tortured in a case his lawyer claims was torture by proxy, or “at the behest” of his own government:
Hamdan was told he was a prisoner of the UAE and was held in a cell painted glossy white to reflect the lights that burned round the clock, according to a note he wrote from prison. Between interrogations, he wrote, he was confined in a frigid room overnight, strapped into “an electric chair” and punched in the head until he lost consciousness.
In one session, the blindfolded prisoner recalled hearing a voice that sounded American. The voice said, “Do what they want or these people will [expletive] you up,” Hamdan wrote. The prisoner obliged, signing a confession that he later said meant only that he would do anything to make the pain stop. The case might have ended there but for Hamdan’s U.S. citizenship and his American attorney’s assertion that he was tortured “at the behest” of his own government. The way he was tortured is similar to Bush’s torture program: In criminal custody, Mr. Hamdan told both his family and the U.S. consular officer who visited him that he had been severely tortured: repeatedly beaten on his head, kicked on his sides, stripped and held in a freezing cold room, placed in an electric chair and made to believe that he would be electrocuted, and held down in a stress position while his captors beat the bottoms of his feet with a large stick. During this horrific process, he said whatever the agents wanted him to say, and those statements may now be used against him in a criminal trial in the U.A.E. This is not be the first time that Americans asked foreign governments to render, arrest or imprison US citizens under a practice known as “proxy detention.”
Three Americans are known to have been arrested by foreign governments at the apparent direction of U.S. authorities, each amid circumstances more suspicious than those surrounding Hamdan.

“The Anglosphere perspective suggests that the English-speaking nations have not only formed a distinct branch of Western civilization for most of history, they are now becoming a distinct civilization in their own right.”

How does that fit with torturing your own citizens Tim? Have you got you’re brown shirt freshly ironed and ready?

“NB Moslems do have large families – not a dig, just a fact, as they are pro-marriage, see sex primarily as a reproductive act, and have little sympathy for the psychotic marxist eugenicists of Family Planning. Good on them.
I live for the day when the Moslems do take power: their tolerance for political expression is known for being slight, you know.”

Ah I guess you are a B.N.P. supporter but you have conceded that we Muslims are allies in the fight against the ultra-left anti-family fanatics. In this case you should support us since we are the only morally serious section of the British population left. Look at the animalistic sexual incontinence of white Britons and the mass production of feral children by white English sluts – The ferals reach puberty, copulate with eachother and produce yet more useless bastards who go on to lead the same useless and barbaric lives. How much longer can a society continue in this way? The Christian church is dead and buried, only Islam can guide the British people back to morality and decency.

Bilal: Actually, it’s not just Islam.
Atheist people can be perfectly decent and moral.

By the way, it’s not very nice to call women “sluts”. In fact, it’s pretty nasty. I will never support someone who thinks that kind of misogynist thinking is ok, or who prefers to gloss over the male’s role in procreation…

Their gains are vastly momentous compared to the Demorepubican domination in the United States. Their gains in the parliament WILL give them a platform to speak out which will show that they CARE about common people thus propelling many right-wing candidates into power. Please also remember that the BNP isn’t the only right-wing party who made inroads in the European Parliament, many other right-wing parties also made inroads.

That little ditty is from Stormfront! Even the fascists call themselves right-wing, not ‘far right’ – just right-wing.

Interesting no?

I deliberately didn’t link – but if you want to read that vile shite – use Google.

Fellow Traveller @ 42:

NIetzsche also derided Wagner and his music as a disease afflicting all of Europe yet Hitler adored Wagner (and allegedly gave the nod to the bits of Fred he’d heard about).

Nietzsche initially loved Wagner’s work. It was what moved him to write his first major work (which he later distanced himself from), The Birth of Tragedy. He fell out with Wagner over his anti-Semitism and Nazi leanings, and distanced himself publicly from him as a result of them.

Fred seemed like a decent sort of chap, but these Schopenhauerian types do get me with their depressing carping. At least he had a fairly rubbish life to justify his pessimism!

66 – go Emily!

I came to Lib Con this morning, expecting to see the authors rounding on the socialist thugs who attacked the BNP press conference yesterday as I and many others have done this morning. I would have thought that anyone who believes in democracy would have been keen to condemn the protestors, but strangely enough Lib Con is rather silent on this issue.

Could it be that the hypocrisy of the Left over free speech and democracy is starting to bite?….

Could it be that the hypocrisy of the Left over free speech and democracy is starting to bite?

It could indeed be starting to bite.

Pompous bloggers demanding that people condemn things for their satisfaction, however, somehow always manage to both suck and blow.

71. the a&e charge nurse

[70] fair point, LFAT.

I do not think we have to respect bloated, self satisfied racists, but I do think we ought to respect the position of a DEMOCRATICALLY (and legally) elected representative however much we may abhor their so called policies.

Egg throwing while transiently satisfying is hardly a persuasive political argument in the long run – if we are not careful THIS sort of thing might start happening on a daily basis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_GLHsq_8KU&feature=related

I went to LFAT this morning, expecting to see the author rounding on Hitler’s atrocities in WW2, but strangely enough LFAT is rather silent on this issue.

Could it be that he woke up this morning… etc…

LFaT @70.

A fair point. I’m glad to see you’ve condemned the egging in the same type of language that you did when Peter Mandelson was covered in green…. oh hang on a minute.

‘By the way, it’s not very nice to call women “sluts”. In fact, it’s pretty nasty. I will never support someone who thinks that kind of misogynist thinking is ok, or who prefers to gloss over the male’s role in procreation…’

No. The men are as much to blame, but since women are the ultimate deciders in whether the sexual act can take place, women don’t have to consent to it. (if they don’t consent, its called rape wheras this cannot really happen vice versa – if a man doesnt want sex with a woman, it doesnt happen) And I don’t call all women sluts. Look in today’s newspapers. What about the 26 year old woman who has abandoned her 6 children (by four fathers) in order to move in with her 18 year old toy-boy? You can call her what you like but I’ll call her nasty slut and her toyboy a motherf—g piece of shit. Anyway this has strayed from the subject of the thread.

75. vulpus_rex

Re – the BNP tight or left:

Were the two BNP MEPs elecetd in:

a) the tory voting shires of southern England

or

b) the tradtional labour voting heartlands of northern England?

Hey Bilal, do me a favour and fuck off mate. If it is sooo fucking bad in this country then leave and live in a Muslim country – fucking simple really. And by the way, the Church is not dead as recent immigrants are packing out churches, just go to any 7th Day Adventist church, Baptist church etc that Africans inparticular prefer to attend.
I’m just glad that you are your kind are a minority within the muslim community – a bit like the BNP.

75 Sean Mc: fair enough, perhaps I should have condemned the greening of Mandelson as well as condemning the egging of Nick Griffin. After all, one of them has made a career out of deceit and dishonesty over their true political beliefs and intentions, while the other is the leader of the BNP.

@ 79

In fairness, LFaT, I think both of them deserve to have far worse things thrown at them.

Look at the animalistic sexual incontinence of white Britons and the mass production of feral children by white English sluts

You can call her what you like but I’ll call her nasty slut and her toyboy a motherf—g piece of shit.

Bilal – wow – don’t hold back!

Thing is, Griffin probably thinks the same!!

Ah I guess you are a B.N.P. supporter but you have conceded that we Muslims are allies in the fight against the ultra-left anti-family fanatics. In this case you should support us since we are the only morally serious section of the British population left.

Oops, sory, I see you spotted that too!

It’s not a novel observation, but it is a true one, that the far-right (whether BNP scum or Mad Mel fringe) hate all the same things about modern society that hardline Islamists hate. We’re lucky the Islamists and the far-right-ists are both too dim & bigoted to understand that and ally with each other… for now at least.

Yes, this hypocritical sexual bullying of women is really despicable. Especially within the context of a discussion against discriminatory politics.

Bilal, you wouldn’t happen to be a white fascist writing under a pseudonym would you? Just a little hunch of mine… 😉

Alan @ 85 – so that is what they are reduced to now. That would make sense too – BNP member hiding behind Islamic fundamentalism when actually most of their views converge really well together.
Maybe next time Griffin et al come to town I will throw bacon rather than eggs just to really piss them off!!

@johnb@83: Although it’s also not such a novel observation when you consider how the far-right spent the whole 1980s funding Islamic terrorism, aaaah.

“Yes, this hypocritical sexual bullying of women is really despicable. Especially within the context of a discussion against discriminatory politics.”

? What ? What is this in answer to? Who is hypocritically bullying women?

And in answer to Alan’ question: I am not a member of the BNP and I doubt they would admit me into their party even if I wanted to join (which I don’t). I actually don’t vote at all at elections. Also, I’m not sure how my views could be considered as fascist by any reasonable standard.

87. Richard (the original)

“Economics is just something they don’t especially care about, something they vaguely recognise they have to get through. A routine chore before they can get to the meaty stuff about race war.”

Tell that to Oswald Mosley (ok, I know he’s dead). The BUF were concerned primarily with economics when they started up, Mosley’s book The Greater Britain (basically his fascist manifesto) was almost entirely about economics.

Too common. Tories tend to think purely in terms of economics and broad ideological brushstrokes. They tend to ignore the ostensibly subtle differences between fascism and statist socialism. What differentiates the two most, I think, is that one pursues an explicitly nationalist as opposed to internationalist agenda. That Socialism/Communism tends to define struggle in terms of class antagonism is what distinguishes it from paleogenetic ultranationalism. Moreover, the aims of socialists and fascists are of course completely different. Even if the means are the same – a claim repudiated by specialists – the desired outcomes are very different…Pisses me off, this conflation. It’s a nasty American habit that’s made its way into the Tory party. Nothing worse than clumsy thinking.

Bilal: prove it. Tell us about atuff you’ve written elsewhere, about your political allegiances, all of that. Bit of a biog.

WTF – I didn’t even see Bilal’s comments here. Clearly they violate the policy. Please fuck off Bilal. Any more comments will be deleted.

91. Shatterface

Vulpus_Rex (77): by that reasoning any Tory who defeats a sitting Labour councilor is ‘left-wing’

Cuckoo!

92. the a&e charge nurse

[93] Please fuck off Bilal

He hee, Sunny – you will be violating your OWN policy if you’re not careful !!

It’s funny how the “centre-right” blogosphere is up in arms about Nick Griffin getting egged, as an affront to democracy. When Prescott got egged it was a good laugh, though, right?

Why is it a joke when Prezza gets egged, or when Mandelson gets gunged, but you’re sympathetic when Nick Griffin gets egged?

Good point, MikeSC!

‘WTF – I didn’t even see Bilal’s comments here. Clearly they violate the policy. Please fuck off Bilal. Any more comments will be deleted.’

Ok but then clearly most of the comentators on this site have violated the policy. But since this is your site I suppose you can single out whoever you want. (Oh, by the way, fuck you)

I see my comment wasn’t published and yet it was certainly not ill mannered.
Is this because Nadine Dorries has stated that she had an affaird with you ? Well she did state this in TimesOn Line and I notice you have never said a wrong word against her.
I happen to know her from living in Liverpool a long time ago and this MP does mot live in the world of reality. Let us hope she will not be re-elected.
Regards. Nathanial.

On tour in beautiful OZ so staying at friend’s.
Think Nathanial meant Dorries had an “AFFAIR” with Tim Montgomerie not you Bob laugh !!

I read this too in TimesOnLine. Dorries states she had an affair with Tim, not shy about what she does is she !!


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