Bill White: Virtual Retch Southern Poverty Law Center Joins With Pornographers And Neo-Cons To Attack The Anti-Globalist Movement
“A solid case can be made that the Third Reich National Socialists were the first Green Party – a genocidal pack of ecofreaks.”
That strange quote was one of many published by militant neo-liberal activist Michael Reynolds in a recent Playboy article “Virtual Reich” -- the latest hack job from a recently active collective of writers dedicated to the demonization and suppression of popular dissent. Funded and controlled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the nebulous nucleus of neo-liberal fascism working and a major sponsor of the “anti-hate” movement – a government sponsored movement to suppress dissenting political views – these writers have been publishing wild conspiracy theories, on the internet and off, claiming that the anti-globalization movement, the anarchist black block, and radical environmental movements like Earth First! are all being controlled by a shadowy neo-Nazi-Muslim “axis” who is working behind the scenes to turn today’s youth into the “hard-core soldiers of neo-fascism.”
And while statements like:
“The group Earth First was cranked up 20 years ago by a clutch of white eco-warriors whose backpacks carried … anti-immigrant racism and a genocide-friendly attitude.”
may not be carrying weight with the thinking portion of America’s audience, they reveal a sinister agenda and a disturbing convergence of left and right wing ruling class tendencies in defense to increasing powerful attacks on global capitalism from both the left and the right. Sponsored by radical Zionists, “neo-conservative” publications, and mainstream liberal groups, this campaign of trickery directed against the American public is designed to stifle and suppress free speech while eroding first amendment rights, and no one of any political stripe is being exempted.
But even more frightening is the fact that this group of radical pro-globalists has infiltrated the anti-globalist movement they write about, with one neo-liberal activist, Kevin Coogan, being openly praised and supported by the organs of “official” anarchism and the self-appointed anti-globalist leaders. Understanding what is going on is quite a trip – one that starts with the Southern Poverty Law Center and ends in the depth of the new left-right convergence of neo-liberal fascism.
Back In Black – Black Shirts, That Is
For the past twenty years the Southern Poverty Law Center has been advancing a thinly veiled fascist agenda – and by “fascist” we don’t mean the empty insult that neo-liberals like to hurl at their opponents. According to Colin Cross, author of the 1961 book Fascists in Britain:
“The top priority of Fascist policy was to rewrite the … Constitution. There would be only one political party, and the only allowable criticism of the government would be … ‘constructive criticism.’ … The Press would remain free – provided its editors and proprietors printed the ‘truth’. It would be a criminal offense for them to publish untrue news … For the private individual … contact between Government and people must ever be … close …”
One could hardly describe the SPLC agenda better.
The SPLC came out of the efforts of Morris Dees, a former major fundraiser for the Democratic Party who absconded from the McGovern for President campaign with the group’s fundraising lists to found a “non-profit” political organization of his own. After experimenting with a group designed to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, Dees shifted tactics and decided to focus on stripping away First Amendment rights instead. Over two decades he launched a number of lawsuits against political activists with views unpopular to media organizations controlled by his Democratic Party friends, and succeeded in winning legal “victories” like bankrupting TV repairman Tom Metzger, a working class stiff with white supremacist views that couldn’t even afford an attorney to represent him, and was forced to try to defend himself in court against the SPLC’s $200 million dollar attack.
But Dees has run out of traditional targets. Having jailed or driven out of business most Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations who can’t afford attorneys, he has been stripped of easy targets, and has been left searching for greener pastures in which to ply his trade. In December of 1999, after perpetrating a media fraud in which he claimed a mentally 20-year old Jewish youth named Andrew Greenbaum was going to take DC with hundreds of stormtroopers (the event was cancelled for lack of attendance), he abandoned opposition to the “far right” to take on a much more vital function for the ruling class – the suppression of the “anti-globalist” movement which is threatening to win popular support and overturn the mechanisms of the global capitalism that he serves.
Working through Mark Potok, the editor of his Intelligence Report, in a now infamous unsigned article “Neither Left nor Right”, the SPLC wrote:
“Right alongside the "progressive" groups that demonstrated in Seattle -- mostly peaceful defenders of labor, the environment, animal rights and similar causes -- were the hard-edged soldiers of neofascism.”
Quoting a little known essay by Louis Beam, which Dees’ crew falsely claims has become a “defining document” (no extremist or extremist group was able to identify the essay or its contents when queried by Pravda), Dees’ crew claimed that:
“Titled ‘Battle in Seattle: American Face Off the Police State,’ it is the most important and influential revolutionary essay by a white nationalist since the publication of Beam’s essay ‘Leaderless Resistance.’”
The most important and influential essay no one in the anti-globalist movement has read. And the propaganda didn’t stop there. Instead, they offer readers a new definition of “fascism”, stating that it is:
“[Opposition] to what are seen as the homogenizing forces of globalism. … [Despising] capitalism, with its tendency to concentrate wealth and to make people and economies more and more alike -- turning the planet into what is seen as a bland and materialistic McWorld. … [Fighting] for a pristine environment, a land unsullied by corporate agriculture and urbanization. [Detesting] man-centered philosophies, seeing animals as no less important than humans. [Rejecting] rationalism in favor of a kind of mystical spirituality. [And] above all, … [favoring] decentralization.”
It was the ultimate in Orwellian doublespeak. “Fascism” – the ideology of “corporate socialism” which believes that all activity should be centralized in the state – had been redefined by Dees to mean the exact opposite. Now, if one opposed the authority of Morris Dees’ government and the capitalists that controlled it, one became a “fascist” – and the goose-stepping cops who swallow down Dees-ian propaganda and the shadowy G-men who lurk in the shadows, infiltrating and suppressing the civil rights of political dissidents, had become the defenders of “democracy” and “egalitarianism.”
Of course this is all nonsense, but it reveals doubly the danger that has developed by the actions of the citizens in allowing the ruling class and the intelligentsia to appropriate and subvert the rhetoric of socialism. What is emerging from the dark mist of the class conspiracy is an open convergence of left and right wing capitalist/globalist doctrines that are bringing to a height the contradictions of capitalism and the dichotic nature of a system that claims “mass democracy” while allowing its cultural and economic institutions to be dominated by a handful of hegemonic elite.
And while Dees, who allegedly kidnapped his second wife, trapped her in a hotel room and beat her when she discovered he had attempted to rape her 16-year old daughter (http://www.deeswatch.com/court.html), has largely dropped out of the limelight, the Center has been spawning a whole crew of writers, “researchers” and activists who have been making dangerous alliances with the Zionist “neo-conservative” right wing working together in defense of international capitalism to infiltrate and terrorize citizens, regardless of political stripe, who question their imperialist reich.
It should be of no surprise that one of the pioneers of this process is a traitor planted within the anarchist movement by the name of Kevin Coogan, author of the book Dreamer Of The Day – a biography of post-war right-wing “extremist” Frances Parker Yockey.
Coogan is a member of the Autonomedia Collective, an allegedly anarchist book publishing group that claims to be supportive of anti-globalism, and which has inserted itself into the middle of demonstrations in cities from Davos to Genoa. However, activists from Autonomedia, including Coogan, have spent the past few years developing increasingly close ties to not only the Southern Poverty Law Center, but to radical Zionists who are using the group’s contacts inside the anti-globalist movement to infiltrate and undermine tendencies that the ruling class feels may be able to spark a true revolution.
As Coogan himself put it in the Reynolds article:
“Anti-globalism, anti-WTO protests, anarchists, eco-warriors, [and] animal rights [activists] … push fascism as a revolutionary movement out of the left.]
What is even more revealing is the widespread support Coogan has received from within the “anarchist” community. “Official” anarchist sources, like the @-infos mailing list, and writer Hakim Bey of the Detroit, Michigan based Fifth Estate newspaper, have published material supportive of Coogan, and the backing of the Autonomedia collective has given of his statements that the anti-WTO movement is actually “fascist”, make his remarks even more suspicious.
After all, why would an ostensible member of the anti-globalist movement join forces with the Southern Poverty Law Center and Playboy to denounce his own movement as “fascist”? Is there a danger that Coogan is involved in fingering members of that movement and turning that information over to SPLC, who is known to share information of that kind with the FBI and other anti-globalist organizations?
Writing in response to the SPLC’s “Third Positionist” analysis – the analysis which it has borrowed from Coogan, who’s book was promoted by the Center in 1999 in an article entitled “Looking Backward”, and who is known to have greatly influenced Center thinking on the issue – anarchist Paul Milstein wrote in his essay “The Southern Poverty Law Center ‘Bad Jackets’ Anarchists that:
“This attack on revolutionary anarchism is more than a simple mistake, more even than just pro-government propaganda that needs to be shot down. It's a slipping of the mask, exposing the contradiction of pro-capitalist ‘anti-racism’ in America.”
It’s a potentially explosive point – that the anarchist and anti-globalist movement been infiltrated by pro-capitalist ‘anti-racists’ who are gathering information and then selling it through allegedly anarchist front companies like Autonomedia on behalf of capitalist globalism. As Milstein puts it:
“The Southern Poverty Law Center has quietly gone about filling a special role in government monitoring. … [I]t carries out political surveillance that current US law forbids the FBI, ATF. and other police agencies … Pro-government propaganda ‘bad-jacketing’ anarchists just fits in with the SPLC's role as an informal ‘arm of law enforcement.’”
And the treachery of Coogan and those who support him does not end there. After the International ANSWER movement – a group affiliated with the Worker’s World Party – was the only organization to call for protests against the US War on Afghanistan and actually motivate and organize a large march in the nation’s capital, Coogan published a neo-liberal pro-fascist essay attacking the “peace” movement, entitled “The International Action Center: ‘Peace Activists’ With A Secret Agenda?”. The article was a McCarthy-ist masterpiece of red-baiting. In it’s opening paragraphs it reads:
“Behind the blue door entrance to the IAC’s headquarters on 14th Street in Manhattan can be found deeper shades of red. When one looks closely at the IAC, it becomes impossible to ignore the overwhelming presence of members of an avowedly Marxist-Leninist sect … following a political course that meets with the complete approval of … the American far left.”
All the American “far left” but himself, we guess.
The vehicle he chose to bring it to the world’s attention was certainly an unusual one for an alleged “Autonomedia Anarchist” like himself, for his essay soon appeared on the website of ultra-Zionist right-wing racist David Horowitz, who’s supporters promptly picked it up and circulated it widely in right-wing ruling class circles.
Writing on the strange new collaboration between “official” anarchy and Zionism, Adam Parfrey, owner of Feral House, one of the nation’s larger independent and alternative publishers, wrote:
“[S]omeone should investigate the other side of the coin: Coogan himself. What's his point of view? Is he an Autonomedia anarchist, or does he swing ideological hammers for the Likud Party through front organizations? Kevin Coogan is … a conspiracy unto himself.”
Coogan reportedly “went beserk” when that statement appeared in a review by Parfrey on the website Amazon.com, and when your correspondent published something soon after suggesting he had “borrowed” much of the material from his book from an unpublished manuscript written by deceased Institute for Historical Review activist Keith Stimely. But the criticism was deserved, and the questions valid – what deals has the notoriously censorious and dogmatic “official” anarchist movement made with the Zionist-capitalist-and-imperialist power structure? And if there are elements of the anti-globalist movement who are working with the neo-liberal capitalist power structure, to what degree have they poisoned the well by circulating capitalist lies disguised as revolutionary thought among other activists. Is “official” anarchy now just nothing more than another phony intellectual cover for policies and actions that further systems of repression? The potential implications of the answers is frightening.
Perhaps Kevin Coogan has the answer, but he isn’t telling. Instead he’s attacking his current (not even former) comrades and the movement he pretends to be part of. And he isn’t the only one to crawl out of the SPLC cesspool to do it. Next we return to Mike Reynolds, who has left one swamp for another, settling in among the objectification and exploitation of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire.
Neo-Liberalism – The Real “Fascist” Third Position
“Fascism … rails against global capitalism, … Zionist oppression, environmental catastrophe, corporate monoculture and the threat of American imperialism.”
You know, there are those of us well-read enough, and probably some others old enough, to remember when fascism was the highest stage of capitalism, imperialism, and corporate monoculture. In fact, by the definition above, Lev Bronstein, whom we know as Leon Trotsky, was a “fascist”, for in his pamphlet “Fascism – what it is and how to fight it”, he wrote:
“Fascism … [is] an acute expression of the helpless position of the bourgeois regime [and] the conservative role of the social democracy in this regime. … Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpen proletariat … After fascism is victorious, finance capital directly and immediately gathers into its hands, as in a vise of steel, all the organs and institutions of sovereignty, the executive administrative, and educational powers of the state: the entire state apparatus together with the army, the municipalities, the universities, the schools, the press, the trade unions, and the co-operatives.”
So either the meaning of the term “fascist” has changed, or the term, in leftist parlance, refers to that element of the social democratic bourgeois power structure which is an expression of the will of global capitalist bourgeoisie, finance capital, the institutions of the state, the press, and the university administrations. By this meaning, either Reynolds postulates that the anti-globalist movement is the publisher of Playboy, and he is somehow “sneaking” his article past their censors, or by the definition of fascism, it is him and the interests he serves, and not the anti-globalist movement he attacks, that is the true “fascist”.
Continuing with his article, Reynolds writes:
“Was [the militia movement] really a right-wing movement after all? All their ranting … easily transposes to the mouths of the anarchists today in the streets of Seattle, Prague and Genoa. … Within this fast-breeding white revolutionary sub-culture, young activists disdain hierarchy and seek a fluid movement capable of mass action on the streets and anonymous acts of target specific terrorism.”
To fully unravel the lies and distortions contained in this statement alone would take a book. But what’s important is to observe Reynolds’ style. He blurs political boundaries in the article by telling stories – first one about the killer of an abortion doctor, then one about the “Third Position”, then one about the anti-globalists – and then hoping that by placing the stories in proximity to one another the reader will some to believe there is a link between them, without Reynolds having to provide evidence. It is ironic in a sense, since it was the Situationists – the 1960s French forbears of many of the “anarchists” now allied with the Coogan-Reynolds-SPLC axis – who first posited that one could create “art” merely by taking disparate images and placing them together as if they were part of the same picture.
Reaction to Reynolds article was predictable. Members of the group Earth Liberation Front (ELF), one of many targeted in the article, immediately issued a fatwa against him, writing on the IndyMedia messageboards that:
“ELFers, don't let shit like this slide!!!!!! If you can organize sabotage, then organize counters to this type of libel. Don't let Playboy print this shit without a response that they can't ignore!”
And another observer, writing on the Euro-Rebirth mailing list, stated that:
“My money says that ELF wins the first round. Reynolds and Dees pissed off the wrong folks this time. If I were an SPLC-er, I'd invest in some fire extinguishers, lickety-split. People often too casually use the term ‘incendiary’ when describing articles or books, but in this particular instance, it fits nicely.”
And one member of Earth First! stated plainly that:
“The Southern Poverty Law Center had anything to do with this article, they should be ashamed of themselves. EF!ers have responded to their queries about the 'third position' and refuted it.”
And Pravda did follow up, sending Reynolds a list of questions at his email, firstname.lastname@example.org , asking him to justify six statements from the first half of his article, with the promise of several more to follow. Rather than answer or provide any evidence for the statements, Reynolds blamed your humble correspondent for dozens of death threats he has received since the article hit newsstands, stating curtly:
“Thanks for the threats.”
And little else.
The most dangerous convergence of the fascist left and right has occurred among those elements of the ruling class which are working hardest to suppress the old “liberal-conservative” divide and to create a new, united, neo-liberal and neo-conservative form of fascism that embraces globalism, capitalism, and the corporate state.
For all their railing against “fascism”, there can be little doubt that the true fascists – the men who are working as militant agents of the state to suppress leftist and anti-authoritarian dissent, and who seek to expand the secret police and the role of the uniformed military and law enforcement – are men like Coogan and Reynolds, who have successfully not only infiltrated the “anarchist” movement but gained influence over its most important cultural capital – publishers like Autonomedia, e-zines like @-infos, and newspapers like Fifth Estate – and who are now setting the mores and social norms to which the “good” members of groups like the Black Block adhere.
Though the anarchist movement claims to be leaderless, and it is “hard as hell”, in Coogan’s words, to infiltrate and control it (he knows, he’s been trying), that very leaderless-ness leaves it open to the oppression of demagoguery, where an individual acting with hidden motives uses colorful rhetoric to distract activists from things that further their real goals and trick them into actions that appear revolutionary while actually helping to strengthen the state they pretend to oppose.
The implications of this for the anti-globalist movement are profound. Activists need to ask themselves whether the “solutions” being proposed by their spokesman are really solutions to the problem, or whether they are policies that destroy one set of institutions merely to replace them with something worse. Activists also need to challenge the lemming mindstate within such institutions, asking themselves if the “enemies” they are being asked to attack – whether they are alleged “Third Positionists” or members of groups like “Earth First!” – are really “fascist”, or if it isn’t an agent of the truly fascist bourgeois liberal state who is standing up and shouting “fascist” the most?
Unfortunately, one of the defining characteristics of those folk who tend towards “collectivist” and “extreme democratic” forms of organization is a heightened herd mentality that discourages individuals from standing up and being controversial, even if it is to point out corruption or flaws in the current consensus. Adherence to the norms of the group become more important than adherence to principle or ideals. Combined with the effects of a devastated educational system and neo-liberal control of the means of cultural production, men of the neo-liberal-fascist axis are able to argue persuasively that those who truly oppose Zionism are “anti-Semites” and “far righters” while winning a buy for Jewish elements in the ruling class. These types of mentality allow men like Kevin Coogan to openly build relationships between anarchist publishers and Ariel Sharon supporters while not being called on their betrayal of the anti-globalist cause.
With an ever ready mass of ignorant and angry youth to mislead, and with the majority of the disillusioned sinking into obscurity rather than standing up and founding new means of resistance, one wonders if the ultimate fate of the anti-globalist movement is to be betrayed and defeated by the own political ignorance of its members, and the actions of a few despicable and untrustworthy informers.
“Whether anti-globalism?” is a question worth asking