Searching the news, I discovered that the National Socialist Movement is on the move again. This time four NSM members protested an “anti-white supremacy workshop” in Minneapolis. The Neo-Nazis squared off against two hundred counter protesters who pelted them with tomatoes. After thirty minutes of abuse, the NSM called it a day and retreated to the internet to celebrate. Photos of the Belleville Protest are now up on the NSM website.
Saturday, I had a few drinks with some Occidental Dissent readers and the NSM became a topic of conversation. The general sentiment (with which I agree) was look at these guys, what are they doing, they are repulsive to middle class White Americans, their activism perpetuates liberal stereotypes of White Nationalism, everything about them screams “fringe group” to the masses. As seen below, the NSM boneheads understand nothing about the aesthetic allure of fascism:
Personally, I wouldn’t put the NSM in the same genus of fascism, although several scholars would disagree. Instead, I would argue that their roots can be traced back to the counterculture and avant-garde tradition of shocking the bourgeoisie. The NSM shares the comic book expressive individualism that animates a much broader cross section of the American public. Most of these groups lean to the Left; a few like the NSM gravitate to the Right. In the case of the skinheads, they merge in a shared music scene.
The academic literature about fascism (Paxton, Griffin, Payne, Mosse, Benjamin) is quite interesting. In recent years, the polarization that followed the WW2/Cold War years has faded and some serious scholarship has been done on the subject. Fascism is no longer dismissed as the last gasp of reactionary capitalism, but as a revolutionary movement in its own right. Most scholars of fascism agree that (generic) fascist movements share a number of distinct characteristics:
1.) They promise a cathartic national rebirth from a period of decadence.
2.) They are anti-liberal, anti-communist, and anti-conservative.
3.) They promise a social, political and ethical revolution.
4.) They usually advocate an authoritarian state.
5.) They are revolutionary, populist, and cross class lines.
6.) They aestheticize politics.
White Nationalism shares 4/6 of these criteria. A few groups reach 6/6 and can legitimately be described as “fascist” in nature. Although fascism is now a dirty word, one that I shrink from using, it is clear that White Nationalism owes much to that political tradition. It is a mixture of indigenous racial nationalism and foreign anti-liberalism.
Something new is brewing amongst disillusioned, middle class, college educated Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers. It doesn’t yet have a name. The sentiment hasn’t been channelled into a formal organization either. These people don’t want a Duce or a Fuhrer, but they yearn for a “national rebirth” of sort. One day it will scare the powers that be.