Justin Raimondo is a prolific, principled, and insightful paleo-libertarian. Unlike every other libertarian under the sun, he actively and vocally follows his individualist non-aggression principles to their logical conclusion even when it’s socially and politically uncomfortable to do so. He’s an outspoken opponent of “Zionist” warmongering, highlighting both neocon perfidy over here and Likudnik abuses over there.
He nailed it recently at The American Conservative . . .
I don’t think we’ve ever had a candidate more in thrall to a foreign leader than we have in the person of Mitt Romney. Here is a candidate for the White House attacking his opponent for not visiting Israel when he was in the Middle East – as if the president of the United States is some sort of vassal. It is truly astonishing to hear Romney criticize Obama for saying he wanted to put “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel – forgetting that the U.S. and Israel are different countries. Or is that not true anymore?
From among the countless hit pieces on Greece’s nationalist Golden Dawn Party, Raimondo’s article is perhaps the only one which isn’t tiresome left-wing cosmopolitan boilerplate. It’s tiresome and wrong, mind you, but in a thoughtful and coherent manner worthy of a response.
It begins with the usual fear-mongering: “Déjà Vu: Fascism on the Rise,” followed by an ominous hint at fascism’s viral nature: In Europe — and here?
His basic premise, a familiar one I agree with, is that the economic crises and austerity programs are empowering dissident factions:
The economic and social factors that led to the rise of national socialism and fascism in Europe are too well-known to require much reiteration here: the plight of Weimar Germany, with its runaway inflation, and subsequent social disintegration, pulverized the socio-economic fabric of the nation that gave us Goethe and Beethoven, empowering authoritarian ideologues of the right and the left. Marginal figures moved to the mainstream, and the results were horrific.
That process seems to be repeating itself today, with the rising tide of far-right movements in Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and even Finland. And it isn’t just Europe: the so-called Arab Spring is occasioned by skyrocketing food prices and even worse economic conditions than we see elsewhere. With Islamist parties moving to fill the breach as US-supported tyrants like Hosni Mubarak fall by the wayside, the Weimar Effect is very far from being an exclusively European phenomenon.
I agree with it, but only after inverting it. This economic crisis isn’t radicalizing and destabilizing the Greek people, it’s awakening them. This isn’t entirely a subjective matter of perspective, either. The previous economy was the product of an artificial and unsustainable bubble, which makes the current economic situation and political dynamic the more normal of the two. By contemporary non-Western and any historical standard, the Golden Dawn’s traditionalist, socialist, and nationalist positions are closer to being the normal ones. Calling the massive foreign invasion “immigration” doesn’t make it normal, and sitting on your hands while your heritage and future are being usurped in broad daylight is decidedly abnormal.
Their response to the “austerity” policies of centrist politicians is to blame foreigners — 2 million of whom currently reside in Greece — for rising crime and “stealing jobs” from natives.
Golden Dawn’s platform isn’t that immigrants are the problem. It’s that they’re a major part of the problem . . . because they are. Even if the immigrants were congenitally incapable of committing crime and came with bags of gold to contribute to the economy, Greece wouldn’t belong to those golden angels — Greece belongs to the Greeks! Of course, the legal and illegal immigrants actually do perpetrate a grossly disproportionate amount of the violent crimes and they do displace the most vulnerable Greeks from the highly competitive job market.
Black-shirted toughs patrol the streets, beating up foreigners, attacking immigrant hotels, and even infiltrating the police, who have “out-sourced” law enforcement in large sections of central Athens to Golden Dawn thugs.
If the immigrant crime wave is imaginary and the Golden Dawn are black-shirted thugs, it would be odd for Greece’s law enforcement to collaborate with them. If the immigrant crime wave were real, and the Golden Dawn were not merely black-shirted thugs, it would make perfect sense for Greece’s law enforcement community to collaborate with them as a sort of neighborhood watch, wouldn’t it? Facts are beside the point for global capitalism’s amen corner, but the fact that about half of the crimes committed in Greece are committed by immigrants is utterly incompatible with Raimondo’s analysis.
Like all fascists everywhere, they cite historical fantasies of a “Greater” nation: if Golden Dawn ever came to power, the “lost” lands of Macedonia and portions of the former Yugoslavia would be “reclaimed,” and war with Turkey would only be a matter of time.
Discarding the inflammatory epithet “fascist” and reviewing examples of recent social nationalist regimes, their record of belligerence is no greater than that of cosmopolitan capitalist countries, cosmopolitan socialist countries, or Marxist countries. If anything, it’s a list of victims, not perpetrators: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, and Iran. The “mainstream” parties in Greece actively support the NATO and EU war machines which are actively engaged in wars of aggression.
Why would Justin Raimondo be so concerned about the hypothetical possibility of Golden Dawn engaging in regional squabbles at some point in the future when Greece’s current oligarchy is actively engaged in unjust wars right here and now? I suspect it’s because he realizes what the Golden Dawn represents: a devastating setback and harbinger of what’s to come for global capitalism and radical individualism. From Raimondo’s perspective, it will look and feel like history is going the wrong way, that a new dark age is coming.
He explains that while America isn’t as far along the sinister path of “fascism” as Greece and Hungary, it’s heading in that direction. After all, there are people here who think illegal immigration is a problem . . . proto-fascists, he suspects. He puts scare quotes around our illegal immigration “problem” because he’s a libertarian ideologue who categorically cannot see humans in terms of families, communities, tribes, and nations. Justin Raimondo only cares about blood when it’s being splattered. If White Americans are subjected to the soft genocide of demographic replacement and economic displacement, then that’s acceptable collateral damage for him in our singular universal quest for cancerous and unsustainable economic growth . . . and world peace!
Although the actual “problem” of illegal immigration has recently been cut in half due to the economic downturn — the jobs these migrants are supposedly “stealing” from us having evaporated — it’s interesting that the rhetoric of the anti-immigrationists has only gotten louder and more extreme.
Once again, Raimondo’s projecting his ideology on reality. The illegal immigration problem hasn’t been “cut in half.” The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States may be down as much as 13% from its crest immediately before the economic crisis. Even if we take that number at face value, the number of anchor babies and amnesty recipients who aren’t technically illegal immigrants well exceeds it. And, of course, the legal immigrant population is still growing at an unsustainable rate. Contra Raimondo, mainstream sources — not black-shirted thugs — are asserting that immigrants are elbowing American citizens out of what few jobs are being created in this tightening economy. Inside Raimondo’s shrinkwrapped ideological box, reacting defensively to an invasion (he clinically refers to them as “the other”) is categorically crude collectivist scapegoating, regardless of the facts on the ground.
For a libertarian, acting in your group’s interest is categorically bad, especially if your group happens to be White.
According to his flawed model, fascism is even inclusive of America’s neocon aggression. While I hesitate to engage in an etymological quibble, expanding the definition of fascism to include the current American situation amounts to re-defining it as “a government that I strongly dislike.” There’s no American nationalism at the heart of America’s aggression, not even our flimsy and impotent civic nationalism. The antiquated concept of Manifest Destiny is entirely unrelated to this regime’s foreign policy. In fact, American history, culture, and even current public opinion are unrelated to this regime’s foreign policy.
If anything, America’s situation is the very antithesis of fascism. We’re a nation so utterly indifferent about our group interests, our identity, and our immigration invasion that a group of immigrants with an alien identity is welcome to stride right in and operate our government and its military in the group interests of an entirely different people. It doesn’t get much more anti-fascist than that! Raimondo wags his finger in the general direction of the Jews operating in their group interests as well, because he’s ideologically consistent. But this brings us to the fundamental disconnect between libertarianism and reality: To eschew your group interests in this integrally tribal world of group competition is to unilaterally disarm yourself, ensuring that you and yours are swept aside by peoples who don’t make this fatal mistake.
Justin Raimondo would surely label me a fascist. I’m a social nationalist and even a dreaded racialist. I’m certainly closer to being a tribalist than an individualist. And yet, I don’t harbor hatred of “the other.” I hope Jews, Mexicans, and others have a great future . . . just not my future and not in my community. I prefer to own up to our mistakes instead of scapegoating, though Raimondo knows as well as I do that one of our “mistakes” is handing control of our future over to Jewish conspirators. I find all of these unjust wars morally objectionable, and I believe that both military and capitalist imperialism ends up degrading both victor and victim alike. Far from coveting a “Greater America,” I would gladly settle for a mere fraction of the territory my forefathers controlled.
I don’t secretly wish to invade Mexico, oppress any minorities, or exterminate any Jews. While I can’t speak for every nationalist group or individual, the groups and individuals I’ve engaged are not the black-shirted thugs in Justin Raimondo’s imagination. There have surely been “fascist” excesses and errors in the past, but why are our sins and our sins alone exaggerated, mythologized, and feared as they are while global capitalist atrocities are being committed right here and now? Why does he dismiss victims of immigrant crimes as illegitimate and unworthy of sympathy while hyperventilating over the mere possibility of a reaction?
The youngest Jew to survive those particular concentration camps in that maelstrom of concentration camps and genocides on all sides qualified for senior citizen discounts before I was in high school. Yet I am expected to answer for that. The Golden Dawn is expected to answer for that. If you care about the future of your ethnic community, support immigration reform, or object to borderless and tariff-free global capitalism, then Justin Raimondo has some pointed questions for you about The Holocaust.
In his mind, and in the mind of this system’s “mainstream” elites, we are the villainous and threatening “other.” In a way, Justin Raimondo’s right about that. But we’re not going to target any peasants for genocide. We’re going to target them. We’re going to target their privileges, their systems, and their wars. Raimondo has my respect for objecting to their wars, but it’s utterly impotent to object to the wars without challenging Jewish (not neocon, not Zionist, not Likudnik, not elite . . . Jewish) power and unmitigated corporate greed.
That’s where we come in.
A Yankee Poet in Greenwich Village
Words, Weapons, & Rituals of the Left & a Nod to J. L. Austin
The Three Caballeros
Remembering William Butler Yeats:
June 13, 1865–January 28, 1939
The Only Battle We Remember
Is It Okay to Be White?: An Interview with Rémi Tremblay
Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism