First released 28 November, 2019. Available here.
Derek: It doesn’t seem widely reported enough, but according to a report by the Anti-Defamation League – for what that counts for – found that every terrorist murder in the US last year was linked to right-wing extremism, marking an increase of 35% from the previous year, with at least 50 people killed by an attacker connected to white right-wing Christian extremism in 2018. And that reflects FBI roles, too, in other groups that have been keeping count. The death toll since Trump has been in office is reaching hundreds, with almost monthly mass shootings and attacks, and the mainstream media still is not sure if fascists or Antifa are the threat. And if you are not a fascist, anti-fascism logically should be your default position, and fascism and anti-fascism are being treated as equal. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front have all killed zero humans in comparison. This rise means nearly 3/4 of extremist murders in America in the past decade can be linked to white nationalist or Christian fundamentalist-inspired right-wing domestic terrorism. More than 3 times as many as those committed by Islamic fundamentalist-inspired political terrorism, and it bears reminding that most of the terrorist arrests in that corner, that we’re supposed to fear more, have mostly been FBI stings and setups of poor and financially-suffering, mentally ill, often drug-addicted, desperate brown and Black people, who have been set up or paid and supplied with weapons and fake bombs by the FBI, then arrested. And then they hold that up as stopping terrorism.
Ani: Yeah, there’s a Chris Morris film out this year, which I haven’t seen yet: The Day Shall Come, which is about an FBI setup where, basically, Chris Morris’s argument is exactly that: so many of these supposed foiled Muslim terrorist attacks have only happened because of FBI set-ups. These are people who weren’t part of any kind of terrorist networks before the set-ups, and where basically the entire situation happened because of that sting. Chris Morris is generally a great satirist. I haven’t seen the movie yet itself, The Day Shall Come, but he’s generally worthwhile.
We’re on the line with activist, musician, reporter and publisher Jae Em Carico, to talk about about Antifa, fascism and Eurasianism.
Derek: Hello Jae.
Jae: Hey, how’s it going y’all?
Derek: Hey, welcome to the show. We’re going to start out with: can you explain who Aleksandr Dugin is, and what is Eurasianism and Duginism?
Jae: So Aleksandr Dugin is a major player in, and really the founder of, what’s called Fourth Political Theory. Fourth Political Theory posits that First Political Theory was neoliberalism. It started first, lasted longest. Second Political Theory is communism. It started second, it lasted the longest, but it says that communism ended in 1989. Then it posits that the Third Political Theory is fascism. That began in the 1930s, and they say, ended in 1945 – which is an important premise they want to slide by there, right, because Dugin himself has been pretty much a proponent of every fascist movement that’s come out since then. *laughs* So I think that there are other premises they try to slide by, and that’s what they’re really good at. So the first premise they try to slide by is that Fourth Political Theory is not fascism. And then the second premise they try to slide by is that human rights – well, they’ll say “Western values”, but they mean human rights, and the premise they’re trying to slide by, I believe there, is that human rights wouldn’t develop outside of certain countries. And their goals are to form an ethno-confederacy; they call it a “multipolar world”. Really, what they want is to replace NATO – or, at least fight NATO – with a group of countries that would be more Finlandized towards Russian interests and Chinese interests.
And they do this by pulling to the Left in certain ways – they’re anti-war, or they’ll frame narratives in certain ways that will appeal to the Left, by this kind of bizarro American exceptionalism, where only the United States government can be totalitarian. It’s similar to the way that the United States talks about democracy. They’ll talk about socialism, or something like that, and they’ll really appeal to the Left, like with Venezuela or Syria, or a number of other issues, especially on their media, where you could almost think that they’re being Left-wing. And so, to a certain extent, it’s similar to how libertarians are socially liberal and economically conservative – similar to that, except that a global scale it’s kind of a lesser of two evils scenario, first of all. And secondly, it’s similar, but the difference is that they’re traditionally conservative, they want traditional social values, patriarchy, et cetera. Religion, the Orthodox Church – this is a very big part of this, a lot of times.
It’s a very fast spreading ideology. If you look up VK, which is Russian Facebook, not only are Russian fascists talking about this, a lot of American fascists really like this. Johan Carillo, for instance, loves Dugin. Matthew Heimbach met with Dugin. These are.. Richard Spencer’s wife put books out, translated them for Dugin, and that’s another interesting thing they’ll do. They’ll put out stuff in one language that appeals to the Left, and one language that appeals to the right. They do a lot of really… they even stole the Chaos Magick symbol, and to a certain extent they use a lot of that.
Derek: Yeah, Michael Moorcock’s Chaos symbol there.
Jae: So there’s a lot going on there. It’s very difficult to hash out what’s going on when a situation comes up, because now there’s this new propaganda out that appeals to tankies, and Leftists, and people who aren’t really paying attention too much. But in the same way they already have a story, a narrative written before the thing happens, in the same way that neoliberals would do. But it’s a competing… and they have a lot of networks and channels and media that appeal to the Left to get their narrative out there. It’s like, as soon as a new news story’s out, they have their side of it that makes Russia seem like the most ultimate Left-wing bad-ass country. Sorry, that’s a long way to answer, but it’s a lot.
Ani: How many years have you protested at the American Renaissance conventions? What effect has that had?
Jae: So I’ve been protesting there about six or seven years now. I started off, I was asked to speak at the Anti-Racist Network “un-conference” on direct action, and then the next day some of us went to go to the actual place. And Darryl Lamont-Jenkins and myself and another comrade went in to the building itself and we just sat there. And I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t really know, I wasn’t educated a lot on who these people were, but during that time [Richard] Spencer walked by, Jared Taylor, Matthew Heimbach… big names in there, and they just saw Darryl, and they would be, like, oddly polite but weird. And I was just so befuddled by the whole situation. It’s actually recorded on onepeoplesproject.com, I believe, or Idavox, potentially.
So what effect has it had? I’ll tell a couple of stories, I suppose, that tell you what kind of effect it’s had. But first of all, I’ll say, in a kind of ironic way, police presence has increased greatly. That”s one effect it’s had! *laughs* Secondly, I would say that… the first few years were a lot of people. We would actually just go in, and I would try to undermine their arguments and get them to fight each other, by saying things that I knew would cause a rift. For instance, I said: “Italian people used to form gangs and Irish people used to form gangs, they weren’t considered white, they weren’t allowed inside mainstream society, and gangs were a way of protecting their economic interests when they weren’t allowed to engage in the mainstream economic system. And that happens now.” And I also said: “You laud those gangs in movies, like Gangs of New York, or the Mafia in The Godfather“. And he said: “We got rid of the Irish problem”. And the room went silent for a second, and everyone kind of looked at him, like, what did you just say? And I was like, yesss, like Mr Burns with my fingers or whatever. And so that was one time that, the undermining their arguments and stuff like that, that was before I was really into the Antifa movement proper – not that there’s a proper Antifa movement, still anti-fascist action but in a different way than is usually depicted.
And then the next thing that happened was I was attacked the next year, or a couple of years later – the year Trump was elected. There were a lot more people, like 150 or more. The year before it had been three to ten, the years before. And the next year after that, it was bigger than last year and the year before. But basically, I was attacked, I was defending myself, I had a disorderly conduct charge because I didn’t fight it, I did an Alford plea. There was a documentary made, that was at this place, called Age of Rage.
It empowers people to demonstrate. I think there’s more to anti-fascist action, and we’ll get to that later. One year I came, and they kicked me out. And I came back in. I’m gender-non-binary, or gender-fluid sometimes, and I came back in femmed up, and they didn’t recognize me, so that worked out. *laughs* But it’s a very fucked-up conference, they’re horrible people, “racial realists”, identitarians. It’s their think tank, it’s their little place where they meet and come up with ideas for how to not sound racist with their racist bullshit.
Derek: Yeah, I notice they’ve started holding it at a public location, part of a public park, so that they can’t get kicked out.
Jae: Yeah, for the last 8 or 9 years. It protects them from free speech
, but we’ll talk about that later, too, in another question.
Derek: Yeah, and I notice – it had me thinking, when you mentioned Gangs of New York, one of the hate groups, they actually use the imagery of and naming from “Butcher Bill” in that movie, the nativist, as part of the imagery for the hate group’s symbol of two butcher knives crossed or something like that.
Jae: Oh wow.
Derek: So they’re pretty fucked up. As you were mentioning, you were in Alt-Right: Age of Rage with Darryl Lamont-Jenkins. You were also seen on CNN, where they allowed you to talk about Antifa a little bit, with Rolling Stone, Vice… Also, because you were in Charlottesville, you even got caught in footage in BlacKkKlansman. What is it like being so visibly associated with Antifa, that masked pictures of you, even by people who don’t even know who you are, those pictures have popped up as stock photos in articles about Antifa, and on anti-Antifa images in memes by the alt-right?
Jae: It’s strange. I’ve been doing activism outside of anti-fascist work for a lot longer than I’ve been doing specifically… I’ve directed my energies towards a lot of other projects, and never received that much attention for anything by any means. I think that I wanted to be able to get a message out to as many people as possible about this stuff, but I didn’t really want to speak to the choir too much. We’re all studied in it, we get it, it’s more like what are we now, and how do we engage with that? I think that it presents an opportunity to get the ideas out there, to a larger audience. So I used that to… I already knew I was getting media, so I started the Senate campaign to try and get more eyes on anarchism, and more people who wouldn’t have known about those ideas to be aware of them. To be honest, it’s weird, it’s strange, it feels unnerving sometimes.
Derek: You ran for State Senate in your state, right?
Jae: No, I ran for US Senate.
Derek: US Senate? Okay.
Jae: It was just an idea to get the largest platform.
Derek: And your platform was anti-fascism?
Jae: I wanted to use the largest platform possible, to get the eyes on it of as many people as possible. It was not to win, it was just to get the platform for the ideas, to move the Overton Window a little bit.
Ani: After Trump’s win and before Charlottesville, liberals and much of the Left were ignoring warnings of increased neo-Nazi, fascist, Klan, militia organising. And even directly after Charlottesville, there were some people downplaying it, I think. Anti-racist and anti-fascist groups began quickly organising for counter-demonstrations and tried to get the word out. Why do you think there was so much denial of this fascist threat, or that Trump himself held fascist or fascist-adjacent politics?
Jae: I remember people calling me a conspiracy theorist when I talked about identitarians back in the day, and saying they were going to build a wall. And people were saying “No, […] elect a President”. But people don’t listen to the Eurasianism stuff now, people don’t believe the stuff about Russia. They think it’s a Democratic plot to make up for their horrible candidate last time.
Derek: Mmm-hmm. Russiagate, quote-unquote, yeah?
Jae: So I think that the answer to that, I would say that honestly the real answer to that is toxic lethargy. It is an acceptance of the status quo, because most people want to be seen as, quote-unquote, normal. And being normal in a white supremacist society has certain kinds of tendencies under law, under the surface that exists, that are easy to ignore by people who aren’t experiencing the back end of them. And so people want to keep ignoring them, pretending like everything was okay. I think that the white supremacists are just a hyper-maintenance of the status quo, and so they were just trying to… It’s a lot more common than people think. I hear alt-right dog-whistles and alt-right language, and even people who would be maybe Left-wing in other beliefs, and even people who you would hang out with, who would never say the N-word, they still say certain talking points that are definitely from the alt-right’s thing. It’s all over. And I think that the normal people, the people who aren’t political science junkies like ourselves, they don’t know that they’re getting it from there. But when they see the Dirtbag Left or someone like that, they’re like: “Oh! I like workers’ rights, I’m pretty much for equality and egalitarianism, but yeah fuckin’ identity politics and those Leftists are annoying! I don’t like the alt-right either, they’re fuckin’ racists…” It puts them in a place where it’s a pipeline to Strasserism. It’s a pipeline to Eurasianism as well, which is exactly the breeding ground for a new branch outside of the explicitly racist motherfuckers to be able to just put out stuff, like the PSL and all that.
So I think that’s what it’s about, it’s just hyper-maintenance of the status quo. People want everything to be normal, they don’t want to believe that this shit’s happening here, and they don’t want to… Because if they believed it, if they really believed it, they would start doing things differently. They would start acting differently, they wouldn’t reproduce in everyday life, they would do something different. And they don’t want to do something different because this is pretty convenient. And also, there’s nothing else to jump on to. They don’t have anything legitimate, with the capacity, outside of “check the box every 4 years”. They don’t know what to do for the most part, because they’re fuckin’ working all the goddamn time. And the only thing on news media that’s accessible is one person being like “vote this way”, and the other person being like “vote that way”. And it doesn’t do anything, and they’re just disengaged with that shit. And they focus on petty bullshit and this stuff that’s right in front of them.
Derek: Yeah, it kind of seems like a lot of the attacks on Antifa from liberals and some people on the Left definitely seem to be tinged with protesting too much, because they weren’t doing anything in their organising to actually acknowledge or fight fascism or fascists in our streets. So it’s easier to just mock and belittle and attack anti-fascism and Antifa.
Jae: Yeah, no tactic is enough. No tactic is enough, and you can critique any tactic from a place of “it’s not enough”. But that’s not how revolution works. It’s not like one tactic fuckin’ does the job. It’s a bunch of people doing a bunch of things, and doing something is better than doing nothing. And yes, we can critique how it’s done, but I’m much more likely to listen to a critique from somebody who’s actually been out there and done a bunch of things and still does them, than somebody who’s just sitting on their couch, navel-gazing. Fuck it.
Ani: You were at Charlottesville?
Jae: Yeah. It was a couple of weeks after that Nazi jumped me, so I was on bond. But luckily, my affinity group had given me a set of body armour, and so when I got jumped by 6 of those Atomwaffen people, I was fine – I was better off than the guy who jumped me. A couple of weeks prior, I had been doxxed by Richard Spencer and David Duke – they had actually put a hit out on me, basically. All those guys, a year later, got put in jail, I think. I’m not sure exactly how it went down, but a bunch of them got in trouble. One of the douches tried to hit me in the back of the head with a Maglite, I think I had my head protected with my arms, I put my arms behind my head and kind of turtled up, just because I knew that was pretty much… they couldn’t really hit anything vital that way. But I wasn’t going to fight back because I was on bond, I didn’t want to sit in jail for the next however-many months till that trial would have been. I didn’t know the rules of engagement that day. If I’d known the rules of engagement were just like “whatever”, then I would have engaged differently.
But it is what it is, it was traumatic. And it’s still traumatising even to now, there are weird ways it manifests. I’ve done a lot of trauma workshops with Redneck Revolt and other groups afterwards, and one of the ways – that I’m comfortable talking about, I guess – is, for instance, if I go into crowds, there’s this weird… When I’m doing anti-fascist work, this doesn’t happen. If I’m out doing something with other anti-fascists, and I’m out bloc’ing and things like that, it’s like some part of me is stuck behind the bandanna or something. So whenever I’m in a crowd now, if somebody’s laughing or something like that, I’ll know rationally they’re not laughing at me. You know what I mean? I’ll know rationally that that has nothing to do with me, but I feel this kind of paranoia, I’ll feel the way I would feel if they were laughing at me, even though I rationally know that that’s not actually happening.
And so stuff like that, I think, has come from a lot of fallout from Charlottesville and Charlottesville itself, in ways that are still manifesting to this day. And it’s pretty tough. That was the first attack of the day, that day. It was caught in BlacKkKlansman and on some other stuff, you can find it out there if you can stomach it.
Derek: That was kind of, really, the beginning. I know there was a couple times that, I think, Matthew Heimbach started a big fight in Northern California, in Sacramento. They tried to show that they could come out in the open in broad daylight and have a Nazi rally, and some people were stabbed in that. We’ve now learned how the police worked with the Nazis to try to get the anti-fascists in more legal trouble. And there was another big fight in Orange County which was pretty bad. And there were little pockets of these things. Then we got up to Berkeley, and that was kind of – now, looking back and seeing the chatlogs that It’s Going Down and other people have released – they clearly planned to commit acts of violence and try to kill people during the Charlottesville actions. Of course now, the FBI claims to have lost all of that evidence, all those chatlogs that were leaked.
Jae: Oh yeah, the police presence has just increased tremendously at every single protest that I’ve been to. It’s a lot of money they spent. It’s interesting how much money can you spend before it’s actually supporting the thing that you’re spending it on.
Derek: But yeah, now ever since, any time somebody tries to organise anything, they’re starting to get extra visitors. Black Lives Matter, anti-racists, DSA, IWW meetings and events, and the anarchist bookfairs have been attacked by various armed fascist gangs. Even after many violent attacks, people were still arguing against deplatforming fascists on campuses and other fascist speakers that would try to come. How do you explain to people the differences between free speech and fascist organising?
Jae: I think, first of all, if you’re planning an ethnic cleansing, that’s violence. So that’s pretty clear cut – conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to genocide, those are already laws. Now, that being said, I’m not the State. The State can crack down on your free speech. An employer, I think, could potentially stop your free speech in a certain way. But that’s different than an individual or an entity or a group of people who are concerned citizens who decide to speak their speech at you and try to stop you from doing that. I think that ethnic cleansing…
Derek: Yeah, they try to make an argument that that is censorship. And what you’re saying is that only the State and private actors can perform an act of censorship.
Jae: Right, to a certain extent, these are just… There are technical terms. There’s legal, and there’s a lot of different ways we could look at that. The argument comes down to: do we want to let people organise for ethnic cleansings? And, okay, the State, the number one way they censor anarchist ideas is just not airing them. Any time they use the word “anarchism”, there’s usually a molotov being thrown. They don’t talk about local resource shares, they don’t about community, they don’t talk about any of that shit. Or critiques, they don’t use anarchist critiques ever. I think they do do that with fascism. You know what I’m saying? They do do that. They allow those critiques to be aired, even though they don’t explicitly label them as fascist.
Derek: Yeah, they had Spencer on CNN just a month ago.
Jae: Right. So I think that any time the State does use its fuckin’ shit to censor fascists, fine. I’m not going to cry about it, you know what I mean? But, I think it probably is against their free speech in certain ways, in certain things, maybe? I don’t know, I don’t really give a fuck. To be honest, I’m not crying over it. If the State ends up doing something like censoring racism in some way or another, fine. I’m not saying it’s not against the Constitution potentially, but there’s a difference between [inaudible] bigotry.
Derek: Yeah, because it’s like you said. The status quo is to censor us, anyway. So people tend to make a “slippery slope” argument, that if we allow the State to silence Nazis, and we don’t stand up for their free speech, then they’ll come for us next. But that ignores the fact that they already come for us, and we don’t have free speech. In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to be a communist or an anarchist.
Jae: And if the fascists do win, then of course nobody will have free speech. You have to say exactly what they want you to say, otherwise you’ll be killed.
Derek: It’s the problem of the tolerance of intolerance.
Jae: America’s already a fascist nation, so it’s just a different brand that allows for upwards mobility in the face of… anybody could sell their soul to this machine and act as its arms and legs, regardless of… As long as you identify as rich.
Derek: I think that everyone expects fascism to look like Nazi Germany or Starship Troopers or something, where everybody starts dressing in Hugo Boss grey suits with skulls on ’em and shit.
Jae: Right. But for people who are the most marginalised and most targeted communities of our country, it does look like that, and it is that. And it’s very much like that now.
Jae: But it’s like, people say “the revolution is not televised”, and I think that’s a great quote from Gil Scott-Heron. But I think the oppression is now being televised. Black Lives Matters is the biggest… they made it to where they couldn’t not talk about it. They couldn’t ignore it any more. That was powerful.
Derek: Yeah, it’s very powerful in the same way that Occupy Wall Street got everyone talking about the 1% and income inequality, and it’s still talked about to this day. The same thing has happened with police brutality – it’s no longer seen as a Black conspiracy theory, that you get arrested for “driving while black”, or getting patted down, or you just get shot for no reason in the back for being a Black man in this country. By looking into that we’ve seen how that goes across so many marginalised communities. We see how it works for Native communities, the disabled, trans people, et cetera, the most vulnerable are the biggest targets of police repression and violence. That’s a feature, not a bug, in this system, obviously. This system runs on dead Black people, as I’ve always said. It exists and it runs on our oppression, and the police are the body that enforces class and carries out that repression. And they can do no other thing. That’s why we say All Cops Are Bastards.
The way I look at, like you’re saying, with the fact that they’re threatening genocide – that’s not a debate. The idea that we’re supposed to be civil and debate somebody who’s arguing for our genocide and our extermination, and who would do it if they ever got the power and got into power. We already have a President in power who is a fascist, and all these fascists outside of the State align with him. The police, the military, the fascist gangs and groups, they all support Trump. They will all come for us for Trump. They attack people for Trump. Deplatforming and anti-fascist action is self-defence. A fascist or a neo-Nazi march in a Black community is an attack. It’s a threat, it’s a direct death threat. The way I see it, any self-defence committed in that moment is an act of self defence. Any action against those groups. The idea of just debate is just liberal nonsense, and the idea of this somehow “marketplace of ideas” just does not exist.
So what can you say about the strategy of billionaires, like Fosters Freeze et cetera, like the Koch Brothers funding fascist groups, like Turning Point USA, to bring fascist speakers onto campuses, to push out the Left in the name of free speech?
Jae: I think they’re going to use anything that’s going to maintain their profits. So there’s this one guy who was a mining executive, and it made so much sense why he’s a fascist. How else can you sleep at night, unless you just don’t see the inherent value of other people? Unless you can just take that out of your mind? And fascism offers you that opportunity, I guess. *laughs* It’s like the ultimate gaslighting. It’s like, “Everybody that we’ve fucked over and betrayed and conquered and shit on and exploited, well, they were just bad, so they deserved it.” That’s pretty much the ideology.
Derek: They’re definitely saying that, and spreading this idea that campuses are like this zone that’s not safe for conservatives, and there’s so much political correctness censorship. The actual reality right now is that there are so many Leftist professors and teachers and assistants and speakers not being… there’s people being fired, people being silenced, speakers not being allowed to come. Yet Spencer’s allowed to go, or Milo’s allowed to go to a college. So this idea that conservatives are somehow being silenced, and we just need more “diversity of thought” on the campuses… basically this is all gaslighting, and a hoax that they’re trying to pull on us, by people who’re paid by the Koch brothers and paid by think-tanks to put out all these talking points and say that they’re being censored, while they have some of the biggest platforms and have the monopoly on all the platforms like YouTube, and put out all these stupid videos.
Those debates, we still have those with liberals, and it’s very frustrating, and there’s always the leaning towards always giving conservatives – again, like you said, we never get to speak – but even the worst person is allowed to speak if they’re on the right. And that’s obvious because of business interests and everything. We’ve seen how Twitter, after SESTA/FOSTA they kick off all the sex workers and a lot of queer people, and anybody that has anything sexually whatever that runs afoul of the new puritanism that’s taking over the internet. They could kick off all of those people, but they just can’t find it in them to take off a neo-Nazi who threatens to murder people, or they send people to people’s houses to kill them on Twitter. And we’ve seen it on Facebook, and all these… There was such a big fuss when Alex Jones was finally kicked off of platforms, and even Leftists were like “They’ll come for us next, we can’t stand for this, and we should stand with Alex Jones”. And I was like: “you’re missing the forest for the trees there. It just doesn’t matter. You’re relying on the sharing of our free speech and our ideas on private corporations or the Government, and neither of those are going to be our friends if we’re pushing a truly anti-capitalist or socialist or any kind of radical message.”
So, on the Antifa stuff again: Leftists who are politically against anti-fascist organising point to the historic weaknesses of the united front Antifa model, because it waters down politics and favours liberalism and Stalinists over communists and anarchists in their proactive political platform, and instead giving us a lowest-common-denominator of shared politics or points of unity. How do we show these sceptics? I would say, let’s skip the liberals here, we’re talking about people on the Left, sceptical Left-communists et cetera, Marxists and elsewhere. How we do we convince these sceptics of how anti-fascist organising involves more than just punching Nazis, as they would mock? Because the community defence model of anti-fascism has been a very good alternative to the classic united front model, and it seems people just ignore anything outside of that, out of us punching Nazis or anything.
Jae: So how do we convince communists who are against anti-fascists to be for the anti-fascist movement?
Derek: Yeah. I mean, how do we convince them, like, what does it entail? When you explain to somebody, what kind of work does anti-fascism organising entail?
Jae: Probably newspapers. *laughs*
Derek: You know, they say, you just run around punching Nazis, or run around attacking people?
Jae: First of all, I feel like it’s weird if a Leftist just doesn’t understand that there’s a lot more that goes into that, at this point. But let’s just say that they do. First of all, we doxx, that’s an important thing. We go and do a lot of infiltration, we act, we do a lot of catfishing, if you will. We do a lot of online work finding these people. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into figuring out where they’re going to be, and when they’re going to be there, and figuring out what they might do next. That’s a lot. And so there’s a lot that goes into that. And yes, in a way it is a unifying kind of thing that anybody could engage with to a certain extent, sure. Any political ideology, basically, yes, sure. But it is a praxis in process. It’s us doing community defence, empowering each other. It’s out there, it does something. It’s the front lines of something before it happens. The people who’re out there right now are going to be in the Left-wing militias that will be there in the future. Those are the people who’re going to be there, who have some experience, they’re getting security experience. It’s an important thing, that’s community defence at rallies, it’s really fuckin’ important. So I think it’s just strange to think that we’re just going around punching Nazis, that’s just like buying into the liberal media.
Also I would say that I don’t know what… the Left has no hands. We’re just a heart bleeding everywhere. It’s not… at least anti-fascists… they go to the thing, and then they do the thing, and they get really excited. They get to go and defend, and make sure the Nazis don’t attack people and shit like that. But then they have that energy outside that, and I haven’t seen a single one who doesn’t want to do a Food Not Bombs or something like that during the week, just to be able to keep that energy going. We should get these facets into everyday life and make them a little more innocuous, to a certain extent. We’re not going to win… The Left keeps shooting itself in the foot and burning itself out by working with what it doesn’t have, or trying to work with what it doesn’t have. The praxis should build the consciousness. If you’re relying on the consciousness to be built before you do the praxis, it’s just not going to go anywhere. You’re just going to be waiting forever until… you know.
Derek: I think that the strength of Antifa, like with Black Bloc, is that these are tactics that are not static in ideology, but at the same time you have the weakness of: well, anybody can do it, so there’s no…
Jae: I don’t think that that’s a weakness, that anybody can do it.
Derek: You know, because at least in America the Antifa groups are majority anarchist. Some are Maoist. But on the other hand, you could have a bunch of Stalinists doing it, and other people. The Antifa groups in Germany are part of the Anti-German [Anti-Deutsch] persuasion, and they’re very pro-Israel and Zionist. So you’ve got them on the same side as the Nazis and the Zionists at some level, and it’s just really weird.
Jae: People’s individual politics aside, when you’re there at the thing, and you’re doing the thing… Let’s say, for instance, if I were to look outside tomorrow, and I were to just walk out into the street, and they push out of the way of a bus that’s about to hit me. And then that person and me go get a cup of coffee, and they tell me their story, and their story is horrible, and I do not like this person as an individual. Am I going to go run back out in front of that bus and get hit by it? Like, “Wait a minute!” *laughs* Let’s be practical.
Derek: Yeah, the tactic of pushing me out of the way of the bus was not the problem! *laughs*
Ani: Where do you see the state of the of the alt-right at the moment?
Jae: It’s such a… there are so many different branches, there are so many different groups, always forming, it’s a lot like the state of the Left, except they have actual political power. *laughs* I think they’re to a certain extent, they’re going back to… they’re waiting, there’s a bit of a lull right now, they’re waiting to figure out where they’re going to fit in next. And they’re just waiting to jump on whatever the next thing is. And they’re kind of resting on the fact that Trump’s doing what they want him to do. I think that they like what Putin’s doing, they like seeing this. They’re kind of like, lying back and waiting for the next big rush, it feels like. And now they’re shooting people.
Derek: Yeah, because they seem to be turning on each other as well. But that seems to be constant.
Jae: Sometimes. I mean, sometimes, just like any other movement, you don’t get to do something for a while, and you start wanting to use that energy… Okay, so you’re not throwing snowballs at cops, or you’re not antagonising fascists that week. But you still have that energy and that outlet. Whenever you don’t have that outlet, you might turn on your friends just to get that outlet. You start hyper-criticising and looking around you.
Derek: Yeah, it makes sense with fascists, because you magnify that by a million, because one of the planks of fascism is action for action’s sake. So I would imagine they would have to be very antsy when anything isn’t happening.
What is to be done?
Jae: So I think we need to develop… I’m actually writing a book about this, it’s called A Way Out. The first part is about anti-imperialism in the modern day, and Eurasianism and neoliberalism. And the second part is about anarchism for grown-ups, which is basically working with what we have and working where we are, and being innocuous about it enough to be able to get people involved who wouldn’t necessarily be involved in political action otherwise, and making it something that benefits them better than the current system does. The third chapter being about a mass line, developing a mass line of people from other countries to be able to create a narrative and a media and all this kind of thing, the same way that Eurasianists and neoliberals do. To be able to build that, build what that would look like in each individual country, and to be able to build that as a media network. And then the fourth part is about building local supply chains, skill-shares, autonomous communities capable of defence.
And you can sell this as crisis management, you can sell this as saving money, you can say this is buying in bulk. You don’t necessarily have to have a certain ideology to buy into it, because when that praxis is done, a lot of the myths that the capitalists sell us won’t be as easily sold. You’re working next to your Guatemalan neighbour building a garden in your community, and you’re extremely sustainable, and you’ve used economic leverage in that community by buying in bulk and threatening companies with boycott using those numbers, then you’re going to start to see how things work. And you can’t blame your Guatemalan neighbour, when you’ve seen that it’s that company that comes in, tries to take your resources. When you see it, the veil has been lifted, and that’s what they’re afraid of most of all – that we’ll come together and share our stories. And they’ll be like: “Oh! Wait! Shit!” It’s very much like an abusive parent, it’s very much like Stockholm Syndrome, it’s very much like they don’t want us to talk about it. They only want us to talk about the fact that we can’t talk about it.
Derek: Yeah, we’re now seeing that there’s studies psychologically [which] have shown the effect that power has on the powerful, and obviously we all know the effects psychologically that capitalism and this kind of hierarchical power has on us, and all of the rest of us. And it’s just like the wages of such a sick society which tries to get us to replicate itself through our individual behaviour. I like what you say about anarchy for adults, because I would imagine you’re thinking of how some people try to act like anarchy or anarchism or something is just something teenagers or punks are into. And that reminded me, it made me think of the interview we did on the old Authority Smashing Hour show with Barry Pateman, who’s an anarchist writer from the UK. He was talking against lifestylism, and anarchists don’t have to dress a certain way or look – we don’t have to dress like a bunch of punks or crustpunks or something, or wear all black all the time. We were joking on that… that’s another title for a book right there: Anarchists Look Like You And Me. *laughs*
Jae: Yeah. I think that anarchism has become an aesthetic. That’s one of the things that has prevailed in mainstream culture. That is the one way that anarchism has gotten in, is the aesthetic. And maybe in a sense, in many escapist forms, the kind of basic rhetoric. But…
Derek: Yeah. The ideas and the rhetoric are a little too far behind the aesthetic. It’s like the aesthetic is totally grasped, you’ll see Axe body spray has an Anarchy brand for women. We’re seeing the Wachowskis…
Jae: Jon Moxley has the A.
Derek: We’ll see the V for Vendetta movie, or The Matrix, and all these things which are very revolutionary-looking are sold to us in the media and everything. But none of the ideas of anarchism really translate over or filter through. And it’s always kind of pushed to the back. But the aesthetic is allowed.
Jae: That’s the most dangerous part of our ideology. I almost think that’s… the Leftists who criticise anti-fascist action, and anarchists to a certain extent, they’re attacking us trying to reach out to everybody. I don’t want to be a clique. I want to provide material needs for people, I want people’s material needs to be met. And I believe that when people’s material needs are met, I believe that they won’t need capitalism if we can make another system that they would engage in. And that’s not going to look the same as whatever was written 100 years ago, it’s going to look different, and it may look different in every single community. And I don’t think we have enough time to really parse which 100-year-old leader to listen to or whatever. We’ve got to figure out what works in our communities, so we can save lives. Unless we don’t believe what we actually believe, unless really we just care about our ideology. Unless we’re just like sports fans, we just care about the rules, we just care about the regulations, we don’t care about the people. And that’s who I want to reach. I don’t want to reach the people who already are in this. Yes, I want to network with them, I want to work with them. But not to the exclusion of people who’ve not heard it yet.
Derek: Yeah, I think the strength of anarchism is that it’s not bound to any one writer or school. There’s no Bakuninists or Kropotkinists or Goldmanists.
Ani: Alright, it’s good to talk. Thanks, Jae, for coming on.
Jae: No problem. Thank you so much for having me, it was an honour.