(TFC) – Ever since Richard Spencer, noted White Nationalist, was assaulted on video while discussing his ideas with a reporter, the debate on whether or not “It’s Okay To Punch A Nazi”. I write to anyone who will listen today, to inform proponents of such an action that this approach is philosophically, logically, and strategically suicidal.
I understand it’s a sensitive topic. Some of the things this man has said have promoted a hatred that is ugly to many, so it brings be no joy to even remotely appear as though I wrote this to come to his aid. Occasionally, it becomes necessary to forgo platitudes and pleasantries, and cut to the chase, before it’s far too late to alter a dangerous course. I’m even sure that the assailant of Richard Spencer felt the same way, but I disagree strongly with their approach, and as such, think it necessary to elucidate this framework into as concentrated a format as I believe possible, while still delivering an adequate idea of the dire straits I believe us as a nation, and a people, have found ourselves in.
So, in order to properly begin realizing the gravitas of the situation, let’s start with some history.
The idea of racism has never been organic. For instance, when the US colonies landed on the eastern edge of the US, they displaced many natives that already lived there. This was encouraged by the then burgeoning colonial governments, and was supplemented in tone by their use as slaves, and by the most-often involuntary mass-importing of African, Irish, and Chinese people, none of whom enjoyed the full definition of humanity under English law, to fuel the abusive industry of American slavery.
This attitude created multiple races of people it was publicly “acceptable” to force into work, and violently break should they choose rebellion over servitude, and justified in the eye of the heavily manipulated, uneducated, and servile public, the concept of Manifest Destiny. All abuses that followed are well cataloged in even the most mainstream history books, so I don’t think I need to list them.
Suffice it to say, westward expansion only significantly benefited a specific class of people, and those people were the profiteers – men who knew their way around government. The traders who incited a gold rush to spur coercive mines, and justify the bloody transfer of the Southwest from Mexico (a country built on similar ideals initially), the rail-builders who employed slave labor to plant the veins through which the then-imperial US could transport labor, the emerging steel trusts that benefited from such an endeavor, and the “homesteaders”, who relied on a definition of “unclaimed land” established and funded by the ruling class, removing the original proprietors to justify the redefinition, those are the people who benefited most.
This benefit rode in on the backs of countless nations, and was enabled by the idea that extortion as the basis for society is fine as long as its victims are of a certain physical description. Even the term “white” was designed by Virginians to force anyone who didn’t resemble rulers into a permanent underclass, so ostensibly, anyone who appeared non-European could legally be used as cattle, while the rest were allowed the meager “freedom” offered by the US government (which has shrunk progressively since colonial days, and continues to shrink ever more).
The only time the ruling class appears sympathetic to race issues is when it directly benefits them. Take, as an example, Abraham Lincoln, who started a war to prevent the rich South from leaving the Union, which nearly all Southern citizens agreed no longer supported freedom, and actively stated in multiple communications and speeches his apathy to the black condition, and malice for those who would improve it. Fast forward, and only when the Union may have lost the war did he appeal to the plight of the slave, using them like many ruling classes did, as a tool to reassert dominance over the South. People united against slavery in a way neither he, nor his administration, had ever advocated previously, and beat the South back into submission, enacting a fake “emancipation proclamation” that universalized forced labor in the case of crime, and setting the stage for Jim Crow laws, and maintaining their underclass status by retaining their definition as “black”, and the legal restrictions that came with that status.
All of these atrocities, however, cold not have been committed but by the consent of the people. And how was that achieved? Division. And it’s a problem permeating all of state-sanctioned society, used directly to benefit the ruling class. Just look at the wars of the past century or so.
Without terms like “zipperhead”, “Butterhead”, and “Bomb Watcher”, and the associated government-funded and encouraged propaganda and imagery, it would’ve been harder to force Japanese-Americans into internment camps, and nuke two Japanese civilian cities. Without the residual and heavily exploited hatred of “the Asians”, the following wars in Vietnam and Korea may have never been possible. Without the overarching attitude of division, workers in East Asia may not be in such dire straits that suicide nets and tool shielding are considered necessary where our consumer electronics are manufactured.
Without the arms race between the British and Germans, fueled by nationalist tendencies on both sides, and profiteered by the creators of a new global war industry, World War 1 never would’ve had the fuel it needed to start. Without the incitement by the Austro-Hungarian government of hatred and mass imprisonment of Serbs, and placing unrealistic demands on the government of Serbia to intentionally provoke conflict, regional tension would not have escalated, Russia would not have been involved, and Germany never would’ve responded – the people were calm until then. Without German involvement, “allied” powers in nearby countries would never have been threatened. The US would never have been involved, and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to engage the beginnings of the Military-Industrial complex.
Without the first World War, the second never would have been called for, as the National Socialist Worker’s Party never would have assembled. Hatred of non-German races, primarily the Jewish race Adolf Hitler and his supporters blamed for the creation and existence of all major corruption and evil in the world, and secondarily, the other non-white races, and mentally and physically disabled people, would not have risen to prominence. Were it not for this, the historically racist US government would not have been able to pump out propaganda labeling the German, Italian, and Japanese people with a broad stereotypical brush, and incite a hateful swarm of citizens under its control to fight in a war they had no business, by telling lies and manipulating public reaction to an attack provably foretold, and planned for, but not stopped (Google: Man Called Intrepid, Purple, and JN-25). A lack of the anti-Russian sentiment that followed would not have encouraged the Cold War, and possibly not even the existing anti-Russian atmosphere.
Without the government creation of the terms “white” and “black”, the civil rights abuses that took place both during and after the wars, the US government wouldn’t have been able to exploit black labor during the wars, and still not grant them the same liberties as their white counterparts upon return to the shores the state claimed they were defending in the name of freedom. COINTELPRO wouldn’t have been instated to quell black rebellion, and residual slaver mindset may never have universalized wage slavery by statist economy control in terms of the Federal Reserve and Income Taxation, and JFK may not have been murdered for realizing what he was complicit in, and trying to stop it. The Vietnam War, and subsequent persecution of draft dodgers, especially black conscientious objectors, would not have had roots from which to grow without the US government’s popularization of American exceptionalism.
Without the maintenance of the white savior mindset, and profiteers exploiting it to engage in conflicts and promote regional resource control, the US would have had no ideological basis for invading Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries, or radicalizing mujaheddin against Russians. “Regional stability” wouldn’t have become code for justifying countless and mounting civilian casualties. Radicals wouldn’t see “westerners” as a threat, nor would they have had the residual arms and CIA training to form massive terrorist organizations. September 11th would’ve been just another trading day. The following tension and hatred wouldn’t have mounted, and innumerable innocents would’ve been preserved, and lives not wasted, becoming soldiers for a freedom used as a lie to support the military and financial elites.
So, what does this have to do with Richard Spencer? Well, the reason himself, and many of those similar to his ideology have been opposed so strongly by the average person is that people fear the rise of another Nazi Germany, only on American soil this time, and with Donald Trump as its all-powerful Führer. With the massive global power Trump (and all people associated with his largely rightist administration) has at ready disposal, it is easy to be swept up into partisan fearmongering. Empathy where empathy is due, the situation can look rather grim from the outset. But just keep in mind a very important set of facts.
First, the families destroyed by Barack Obama’s drone policy, or the organizations himself and Hillary helped fund while he was in office, don’t much care who’s President – they just don’t want to be bombed anymore. Second, attacking Spencer won’t reduce Trump’s power. If the wars and class conflicts described above don’t sufficiently convince you that every conflict can embolden rulers, I’m not sure what will. Want his ideas popular? Physically assault him in front of a camera. His support base will grow simply by people sympathetic to thoughtcriminals. Second, recognize how vulnerable grassroots movements are to counterintelligence, and that with the global intelligence network constructed in the way it is, they can pin you down by public advocacy for this sort of violence, or riots and unrest of any sort, and if any crackdown happens, your name and personal information will be in a database. If global powers ever decide to crack down on your rebellion, it won’t be hard – they know what you believe, and it’s all hooked up to a GPS in your pocket, with which you increase your vulnerability. And third, if there ever is a crackdown, the more people you attack for what they believe or say, the more supporters will claim you deserve every bit of the treatment the fascist state gives you. Division is a double-edged sword, and supporting one sort of it makes you subject to all sorts of it, whether you realize it or not. Want victory? Don’t do that.
It’s real easy to preach unity against the ruling class, but harder to get there. Authentic class divisions can’t exist among the ruled. Just different perk levels, at different levels of obedience and complicity. The real enemy is content to have us fighting in the streets, especially if we feel righteous in doing so. And before you say that the person you share a class with isn’t “one of you”, implying they aren’t human, or that they are somehow less than human, realize that this attitude, among others, may have contributed to their ideology to begin with, and that the belief was planted in your mind by people who aren’t interested in your struggle or well-being, and stand to profit off your “victories” and losses.
Also, to make this constructive, if you want to fight fascism, you can’t do it on the ground level, especially when many of your comrades fall silent about the misuse of political power during a supposedly leftist Presidency. If you want victory, hacking at the branches may be therapeutic, but striking at the root will remain, as it always was, the only way to effect long-term success. Politically empowered leaders nearly always make more effective targets than their followers, and Spencer has no political power, to public record. Want to lose? Move the debate to punching people for saying things, and as far away from the mounting laws and edicts sent down from the actual top as possible. Want to win? Keep your eye on the top, and all it’s connected to, and never lose sight.
I recognize that many believe they assist people’s movements with such actions as assaulting people like Richard Spencer, as an opposition to divisive ideas, attitudes, and mindsets, but I implore the thinkers among such groups to recognize the broader implications of such actions, and the promotion thereof. For there are enemies yet unmade, possibly convinced by the popularity of such actions and advocacy, which may be convinced to take similar measures, and engage in preemptive strikes of a similar nature, to demote the ideas of an ideology which seems opposed to the concept of civil discourse, and open to the idea of attacking anyone even distantly affiliated with the ideas the ideas they find disagreeable. Let me make this clear. In taking such actions, you make anti-fascism unpopular, and fascism more popular than it ever deserves to be, simply by default. You empower your enemy, and distance potential allies, by not knowing them, and doing what feels righteous, rather than what is.
You won’t get anywhere by threatening speech or thought, and when you allow simple ideological divisions to provoke you to violence, you do the ruler’s work for them, and make their jobs easier. Your movements hijacked, and your labor stolen from you by those who convinced you to fight the man next door, and not the man who runs the streets. If you want victory in the war against power structures, the first thing that should become clear is that it’s time to realize your place in that structure. If the elites can convince you that the enemy is next to you, you’ll fight that man, and not those in armored cars, behind police lines.
Remember that, the next time an edict benefiting the rulers is sent down from the ivory tower, and when the boot is on your neck, remember who you punched, and more precisely, who you did not.