Jack Ross of the American Free Press (http://www.americanfreepress.net) conducted the following interview with Pravda.ru columnist Bill White
(1) You've been involved in politics since you were 13 -- some very far left, some very far right. What's your political history been, and what groups and notable actions have you been involved with?
When I was in junior high school some friends and I started a group called the Utopian Anarchist Party. I was in a gifted school and we had been exposed to Marx, Freud and the Situationists, and those influences were the core of the "ideology" we espoused, but the decision to be an "anarchist" was an essentially arbitrary one. Other methods of extremism -- communism, nazi-ism, et cetera -- just seemed arbitrarily less "cool", so I can't say a whole lot of thinking went into my entrance into politics.
However, as I grew personally, I began to develop real ideology. Initally, we just didn't like the public schools, and our critique was very orthodox liberal-left. But then I began to understand that the problems with the school system were part of a larger system of problems with society. Seeing the way that the police abused people that I knew, and the way that the juevnile psychiatric system, with the assistance of the schools, came after a lot of people I knew, opposition to those two institutions became integrated into the platform. This platform -- opposition to school, cops and psychiatry -- was very popular with teenage youth, particularly "troubled" teenage youth. Soon our UAP 'zine was developing a huge circulation.
I first made the national-international news in college, in 1996, when I was the first to use the internet to launch a massive campaign of phone calls and harassment against this couple that were abusing and torturing their stepdaughter. It was during this set of incidents that I learned what the nature of the news media was: the Washington Post covered the story, and they took the position that, despite the fact this girl was being locked in a closet, starved and tortured, it was wrong for me to have exposed it because her parents had a "right to privacy." Really, it was part of the early campaign by the press to censor the internet, and when the facts didn't fit the story, they just misrepresented the facts. But at this point I became interested in the news media and how the news media is used to create a false reality that served the interests of the ruling class.
My next big, big news event was in 1999 when I published an essay explaining the Columbine killings, and stating my sympathies with the killers. People were predictable outraged, and let me be clear that I sympathize with what they did -- I don't support it or think it was necessarily the "right" thing to do. What I said was that the public school system is actively involved in hurting youth, that it is psychologically destructive to them, and that the necessary effect of the evil violence the public schools do on a massive scale is evil violence directed back at them and the people and institutions which symbolize them. I have always believed that the necessary result of evil is evil, and that if evil did not result from evil, there would be no way for society to regulate itself -- and that a main problem of society is that we are able to shelter ourselves from and put off into the future the consequences of the evil we do, so that we can't always see the connection, and thus our provocative evil behaviors are allowed to persist.
During that controversy, the Simon Weisenthal Center issued a statement to Reuters saying I was "hateful" because I had "made disturbing statements about Christians." Here was a Jewish group attacking me, an anti-racist activist at the time, because I had made statements about Christians that, ironically, would be typical for a Jewish group like the Weisenthal Center to make. This is when I started getting interested in the role of the Jewish power structure in American social life and politics. This interest continued when my friend Michael Moynihan was attacked by a coalition of "anti-hate" organizations, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for New Community, and the Coalition for Human Dignity in particular -- also with the Columbine issue as pretext. This started a series of research I conducted which radically changed my views both of anti-racism and of the role that Jews, or at least their "official" community organizations, play in the world.
Before and since then, I've worked with a number of groups, some successfully, some not so successfully. I did some collaborative work with the International Socialist Organization and the Revolutionary Communist Party/Refuse and Resist!/Oct22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality in 1997 and 1998. Both groups now thoroughly deny that; now that I'm anti-Communist the RCP actually has a press statement denying they ever worked with me, and the ISO claims they "kicked me out". Neither is true, I was never a member of either gorup, but I did work with both.
I worked with the CommunistParty USA and the Libertarian Party in 1999 -- a faction of the Libertarian Party did, on the advice of the Revolutionary Community Party and this woman Carol Moore, who is now running to be their National Secretary, entertain a motion to expel me, but it failed. They're a group much more comfortable with the likes of Irv Rubin, I guess. At the beginning of 2000 I joined the Buchanan Reform campaign, and worked with them until June of that year, when I resigned because of my concern over their dishonest practices. After leaving there, I worked for a Constitution Party congressional campaign, which was the most successful congressional third party campaign in Maryland in 20 years -- and the only 3rd party congressional campaign to qualify for the ballot in 20 years. Since then I've left most groups and pursued my website, Overthrow.com, which I revamped in March 2000 and which is now, as I'm writing, moving to a new home -- our own independent server -- where we can finally be truly uncensored and not in risk of being pulled down.
In September of this year I accepted a position as the Washington Correspondent for the Russian publication Pravda, and just a few weeks ago I offered, and was accepted, as a contributor to Synthesis, a major publication of the National-Anarchist movement. I've also got two definite candidates I will be managing in the local 2002 elections, and probably quite a few more getting ready to declare.
(2) Your website, Overthrow.com, has become very popular. Your Libertarian Socialist News emails are widely circulated on the internet, and your news service is looked upon as a major source of information on extremist groups by people involved in that scene, regardless of their agreement or disagreement with you. What is your motivation behind the website and the news service -- are you pushing a cause, and if so, what is it?
I started Overthrow.com in college in 1995 as the website of the "Bill White Student Group". I was probably the only student at Maryland who was his own student group -- I had 117 members when the school shut us down. Part of being a student group was getting a free website, so I became interested in web publishing.
The original idea behind the website was to be a web version of the UAP newsletter. The site became pretty popular pretty quickly, but it was technically pretty poor until just last year. The idea of the site grew to embody the idea of the newsletter, which was to provide a venue for free and censored speech to get out -- whether I agreed with it or not. The newsletter used to publish all kinds for extremist works, communist, anarchist, fascist -- all sorts of stuff. This angered communists immensely -- the Spartacist League and the Socialist Worker's Party still won't talk to me because of it, and it was a major reason I stopped dealing with ISO. The premise that all speech should not just be "permitted" but should be actually available to the public, is something that the newspapers and the totalitarian left really haven't gotten over. One of the problems with our society is that because our ruling class is so dishonest, control of thought is such a major imperative, that any attempt, even a Xeroxed newsletter by a high school kid, to expand thinking outside of this acceptable range, is viewed with extreme hysteria,
Libertarian Socialist News, which I called Anarchist News Service until 1999, is designed to bring uncensored information about groups whose ideas are outside of the acceptable pale of thought. We cover far left and far right organizations, radical religious groups, independent and third party political campaigns -- anything anywhere where anybody is saying anything that the ruling class doesn't approve of. We don't cover mainstream politics except when it is an issue of importance to our readers -- we often cover the attempts of mainstream Jewish groups or various governments to suppress civil liberties, or to start wars, to demand the extradition of extremists for torture in Israel -- but we limit coverage of mainstream politics to those points where it touches on the fringe. From my editorial viewpoint (and as editor and publisher I get to have one), the only authentic politics are the politics of those groups outside of the ruling class brainwashing system, and everything inside that system is as nothing to me.
Overthrow.com exists as a bastion of radical free speech, where anyone can come on, browse the LSN archives, look through some of the banned books and chemical information in particular that the government doesn't want you to see, and then post anything they like to our messageboards. It's becoming a focal point for communication for people who don't want to be part of the mainstream, but don't want to buy in to this pre-fabricated mass-market "radicalism" that they sell you on MTV and Rage Against the Machine videos. I think it's a really important website and project that I'm involved in.
(3) Your political views are very controversial -- in fact, many groups find just trying to define your politics to be controversial. Are you "far right", "far left", "third position"? What do you believe in?
One of the reasons no one understands what I believe in is that I don't really adhere to any easily definable ideology. Libertarian and socialist is probably the best way to define it, though you'll see traces of other ideologies creep in around the sides.
I believe in radical political and economic decentralization. I think we need to weaken the federal government, and the state governments, and make communities self-governing. I think we need to stop the centralization and concentration of capital in the hands of a few, and eliminate the mechanisms that allow for this imbalance in the distribution of resources to occur. I don't believe in massive centralized government re-distribution of resources, however, because I think that government always serves the interests of the class or group of people that control it, and will always tend to centralize resources in those people's hands, whether they call themselves Bolsheviks or the Federal Reserve.
I believe in aristocratic individualism and much of the classical enlightenment views of the Republic. I believe that individuals have a right as individuals to make the most of themselves that they can, even if it means that some are better than others. However, I believe that all individuals in society have a social obligation, and so those that emerge from the masses to lead have an obligation to those masses to better the entire national unit, as a society. When the ruling elements become alienated from the people is when the system and the society collapses -- when we see revolutions emerge, and when we see ideologies emerge that essentially deny the legitimacy of the ruling class. But I don't believe that radical democratization and the delegitimization of any sort of human differentiation is beneficial to society, and I think that kind of analysis misses the point -- that a society's leaders become illegitimate because of their nature as leaders, and not because of something inherent in leadership itself. All societies that have tried to restructure themselves on radical "Democratic" principles have always ended up with a tyranny much worse than the decayed aristocracies they've overthrown.
I also believe in the right to cultural self-determination for all authentic cultures and civilization. By "authentic" I mean that purely intellectual movements, like Bolshevism, which have no root in history or in the historical struggle of a people, have no inherent right to exist. But I think that all groups of people in, say, the United States, have a right to their communities based on their common history, without domination or exploitation from other groups. I think that only those individuals that simply can't or won't or refuse to live without exploiting others need to be dumped overboard.
(4) You used to be a radical anti-racist activist. In the Washington Post on February 9, 1998, there was a picture of you burning a confederate flag that had been captured from members of the Ku Klux Klan during a racist/anti-racist fight. Later, you left the movement and have been very critical of it, and it has responded by being very critical of you, with groups like Public Eye and the Southern Poverty Law Center calling you a "neo-fascist". What's gone on with this?
When I was young I was consumed with what can only be called "Semitic nihilism". I read Marx, Freud, Marcuse, Goldman, Luxemburg, and more -- idiot after idiot -- and grew up in this society, which is drenched in Semitic politics, from the liberalism derived from Marx, Freud, Boas and the Frankfurt school, to the "neo-conservatism" and Evangelical Christian Zionism you see promoted by groups like the publications owned by Rupert Murdoch or David Horowitz. These ideologies sometimes pretend to be opposed, and their sectarian fighters sometimes fight viciously among themselves, but they are really just minor variants on the same political program. This all ties in to what I said before about the media and the limited range of thought that is acceptable in our society.
One of the many things that all of these tendencies agree on is the just downright "awfulness" of "racism" -- loosely defined as anything that opposed their interests. If you dislike blacks, like, say David Horowitz, but use some subtle language and couch it in terms of what is good for the Jewish community, for instance, you will be published and the few blacks that protest will be given no audience by the media. But if you criticize both blacks and Jews together, you'll be termed a "racist" in the public discourse. Really, it is the question of how people feel about Jews, and not how they feel about race, that is the determinant factor in accusations of "racism". Even the radical communists will generally back off a fight if the person making "racist" comments is properly philo-Semitic.
I was very caught up in this, but I always dissented. I loved the fighting and the crashing through the police lines and the trading blows with nazisor klansmen or whatever, but I would always ask uncomfortable questions like "don't these people have a right to speak?"
It was really the Michael Moynihan incident that brought this into perspective. I started to realize that anti-racism, rather than being an anti-statist movement, was really a radical demagogic movement to support the interests of the state and the ruling class. From my experience in it, I discovered that all these supposed left-wing radicals were really being micromanaged by the Democratic Party and ruling class factions. All of this caused me to ask questions about what I was really doing, and confirmed for me the idea that one cannot both oppose the modern state and be acting as a radical para-militant auxiliary for the state at the same time.
It's really a question of this: Either there are rights and everyone has them, or there are no rights and only power, and the "radicals" don't have the power. If you believe in rights, you have to let everyone have them. If you don't believe in rights, you are simply expanding the rule of the powerful.
As to some of the specific accusations and groups, Public Eye is a group that recently had an edition of their paper where they criticized Martin Peretz of the New Republic, John Podhoretz of the New York Post, and then denounced them as members of the "white Anglo-Saxon Protestant power structure." Ignoring the fact that it is racist and evidence of religious prejudice, by a fair application of the modern standard, to label your opponents as "white anglo-saxons" and "protestants" and to imply that has something to do with their political beliefs, you'll also notice that none of them are white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant -- they are all Jewish. So what we learn is that the "white Anglo-Saxon Protestant power structure" is really a code-word for the Jewish power structure, which makes Berlet, by his own terms, a "crypto-fascist."
But the bottom line with these folk is that they are mad because I have given them a real hard time over the last few years. After the Moynihan incident, some friends of mine and I shut down a group called the Coalition for Human Dignity by getting their $600,000 annual grant pulled. These groups that criticize me, the SPLC-CNC-CHD axis in particular, are part of one of two power structures in the anti-hate community. The other is the Jewish "defense" organizations -- the ADL and the two AJC's. The SPLC-CNC-CHUD faction are the "white" -- actually often secular-Jewish or very extreme "Judeo"-Christian -- liberals. They are a close network, which is made closer by the fact that many of them are homosexual or bisexual, one of the reasons they are almost entirely male dominated, and that they often "date" and conduct relationships both within their scene and with members of the press and the government that they work with. So when one of them gets attacked, they all react in a body very hysterically, much like the organized Jewish community does, and they all turn their targeting sites in the same direction as if with one movement.
I honestly can't take these groups seriously. Ever since I learned that their spiritual mentor, Morris Dees, attempted to rape his stepdaughter in 1977 with an object, that he seduced his son's wife in the 1970s, and that when his wife discovered this and tried to divorce him he had her kidnapped and beaten into signing a phony divorce agreement, I can't respect what they say enough to even really answer it, except to say that I am obviously "anti-fascist" -- an opponent of corporate socialism -- as obviously as they are literal fascists -- proponents of a monolithic corporate state that micromanages and produces the lives of its system as a product. Anything else falls below the bottom level to which I can take my discourse.
(5) Having once been an anarchist, what do you think of the anarchist and anti-globalist movement?
That's a good question. I think one cannot look at either of those movements as a monolith, because they aren't, and the differences are not trivial.
The self-proclaimed "leaders" of the anti-globalist movement, the public faces that you see on TV or in the newspaper trying to articulate their demands, make me sick. They are basically the Morris Dees' of anti-capitalism. Their demands are often ridiculous and counterproductive, and I'll give you an example:
Look at the World Bank. During the anti-World-Bank rallies, these groups claimed that the World Bank makes usurious loans to Third World nations that become so interest-heavy that the interest alone becomes more than the entire nation's Gross National Product. The then compared this to slavery, and they are correct in doing so -- the international capitalist power structure has reinstituted slavery internationally by creating debt slavery. But the solution the communists propose is that the United States and its taxpayers bail these countries out by paying off their debts, instead of demanding that the debts be canceled all together! Think about that! What the "socialists" are saying is that the debt itself and the interest -- the claim of the bank and international finance capital -- is essentially legitimate, and that the "solution" is that white working people, who have been sensible enough to avoid these kinds of loans, be forced to buy African and Asian working people out of slavery, so that the banks can then loan African and Asian naitons more money, buy their people back into slavery, and then come to the white countries again for a bailout! These people hate that European and Northern American nations have avoided the slavery that they have imposed on Asian and African and Latin American workers, and so they try to turn the anti-globalist movement into a mechanism for expanding the enslavement of the working class out of the Third World and into the entire globe!
If these people really cared about working people, in Africa or elsewhere, they would demand two things: 1) That the international banks be forced to "cancel" the debts and take a loss on them, hopefully bankrupting those banks in the process, and 2) that the central capitalist banking system be prohibited from extending further credit to nations that are run by petty dictators that run up the credit line, abdicate office, and stick their people with the debt. The only risk is that, because of the floating nature of the monetary system, a collapse of the international banking system could destroy international currencies, like what is happening in Argentina, which is still feeling the effects of matching their currency to the dollar during a time of American economic recession. And this ties in to international monetary reform and the international monetary fund, and the need for international currency valuations to be tied to gold, and not to floating measures, or to each other. That demand is a serious demand. The demands that these neo-liberal pawns make, and the cover they are running for the bankers, is the same crap that the ruling class weaves into the phony reality that they have governing everything else.
As to anarchists, the most intriguing developments I have seen in the anarchist movement have been 1) the break of "leftist" anarchists with communism and communists, and 2) the national anarchist movement which was founded by Troy Southgate in Britain. In the first case, I'm not sure what my ultimate verdict will be on "leftist" anarchism -- the anarchism that has come out of leftist milieus, because it is still carrying a lot of baggage from its origins and is still carrying a lot of half-wit neo-liberals in its retinue and among its thinkers. I think it's going to be interesting to see if these kids can grow up past the point where they are not throwing balloons filled with urine at people (which actually happened at a recent "anarchist" protest in DC), and develop a real ideology and nature. As to the second, I think the national-anarchist movement, coming out of the far right, has the right approach to a lot of issues, and I think it will be interesting to see if they can overcome the hurdles of being what is now a small movement within a small movement to becoming a real political force.
(6) Your Pravda column has reported often on the recent growth of far-right groups like the National Alliance, particularly in the context of the post-September 11 world. What is your impression of them?
The National Alliance I think is the most intriguing organization in the national socialist right. I'm not sure what to make of it as a whole -- it is certainly over the top in a lot of areas, and seems to be more focused on what it is going to do to get back at other groups of people than what it is going to do to improve the lot of its own people. I guess I'm not really sure how much of the socialist ethic it has versus the nihilistic MTV-ish protrayal of nationalism it has.
That said, personally I have developed some good relationships with its members in my course of covering them. They have been growing and they have been attracting a lot more "normal" people, or at least people who put on a good public front, to fill their upper ranks. Still, they seem to have a certain element that seems to be out of control. Overall, I'd say they are a lot like the communists and the anti-racists that come out to protest them -- a range of people from the normal and well-adjusted with different political views to the seriously disturbed people who are using politics as a type of public theater for the expression of emotional problems.
I think they are important to cover from an honest perspective. I know that my readers certainly enjoy it -- watching them and the anti-racists go at it is a bit like watching a soap opera -- every month, after their next demonstration, we get another installment.
Ideologically, I don't know what to make of them. They tend to be vague about their program, and while some of what they say sounds good sometimes, they, and particularly Pierce, will suddenly up and say something that makes you think they're a bunch of raving loons. I also have a lot of questions about the practical side of things -- people who have worked around their headquarters are always making comments to me suggesting that something is not right but that they "don't want to talk about it" -- and I haven't really figured out if those complaints are substantial or not.
I can say that I think that genocide against other people is as nihilistic a "solution" to political issues as the nihilistic nature of capitalism and corporate socialism, and that has always been a real sticking point for me in trying to absorb what they believe.
(7) You have at times defined yourself as "anti-Semitic", but also know and associate with a number of Jewish activists in various movements, and have published material by Jewish writers. What's your feeling on this?
Yeah, I am anti-Semitic. I don't like Judaism or it's heretical manifestations, including Christianity, and I think that Judaism and the cultures it creates have had a profound and negative effect on American society.
A good way to think about it might be this. Imagine there were no Jews in the world, and then think about what happened during the past century that wouldn't have happened. The Bolshevik revolution would never have happened. Hitler would never have happened -- and thus no World War II. Without Bolshevism, there would have been no Chinese Revolution, and thus no Korean or Vietnamese wars. The post-colonial period in Africa would have had a very different character. Just without the Cold War and World War II America would not be a bureaucratized centralized imperialist state. Just looking at Jewish culture in relation to communism and its reaction in national socialism, you can justify the statement that these attitudes have had a profound negative effect on society.
Even in America today, say there had been no Jews for the past forty years. There would have been no 1960s -- and the results of that decade, particularly the break down of the black community and its collapse into drugs, poetry and crime -- would never have occurred. Given that blacks account for two-thirds of the crime while being one tenth of the population, think about how the non-destruction of the black community would have led to the improvement of the quality of life for all communities, including the white community. Segregation probably would have gone regardless, but it would have gone without being replaced by a destructive and nihilistic anti-culture that was promoted by almost entirely Jewish radicals.
And then ask what we would have lost? Madelaine Albright? William Cohen? The most prominent Jewish person who actually contributed to society in the past century was probably Albert Einstein, and I'm not convinced he didn't crib his theories from earlier physicists and his Serbian wife -- and in any case, we all know that the immediate application of Einstein's theories was the nuclear bomb.
This is not saying that I want to get rid of Jews, but that there is something seriously, seriously wrong with the culture and the behavior of Jewish people, both in Western nations and internationally. The last century has seen a serious of deliberate acts by the Jewish community as a whole, from its community organizations to the members those organizations mobilize for its ruling class, to hurt other groups of people and to provoke wars and chaos for the perceived gain of the leaders of that community.
The actual number of Jews responsible for this, as a portion of the entire Jewish population, is probably about as small as the portion of the white population responsible for our ruling class, but the mobilization of the entire ethnic community as an ethnic community to hurt other ethnic communities is almost unprecedented in human history -- not since the time when the early Christians -- another group of Judaic heretics -- destroyed Rome and sent Europe into a millenium of darkness has anything like this been seen.
That said, I don't hate individual Jews or think that there is something biologically or genetically "wrong" with people who happen to be born to Jewish parents. There are certainly Jews who don't participate in this type of nihilistic Judaism, and some I think who are honestly searching within their people and their history to find positive alternatives, but the Jewish leadership structure, from Ariel Sharon and Mortimer Zuckerman down to the lowliest newspaper columnist in the trenches, have made themselves a real threat to the continued prosperity of this nation, and they have to be stopped. What means can be used, I don't know.
(8) Certain left-wing groups have recently made allegations about your romantic involvement with certain far-right organizers, and have tried to use that to explain the recent intense shift in the editorial perspective of your news service, which has recently had a much stronger focus on Israel and anti-Zionism. Is there any truth to that?
No. That is the fantasy of the paparazzi segment of the radical-extremist community. The real reason for my increased focus on Jews and the Jewish community has been primarily the September 11 attacks.
I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood -- the Horizon Hill neighborhood of Rockville -- a very racist Jewish neighborhood which my family had to move out of because of ethnic and religious threats that extremist Jews would make against us for not being one of them -- but I was never really conscious of Jews as a separate group of people until later in life. I used to wonder things when I was little like why I didn't go to Hebrew school and why my family didn't celebrate Hanukah, and why I didn't fit in with all the little Jewish children, and why their parents always looked at me funny, but I was never really conscious of Jews as being different -- I always thought it was I that was different or poorly adjusted.
It wasn't until I saw the organized Jewish community at work during the events of 1999 that I began to ask questions about what the nature of Judaism was, and what the differences between Jews and normal people were. It was about then I began to reflect back on all the kids I hadn't gotten along with from the time I entered kindergarten to the time I transferred to a mostly white high school in 1992, and I realized that almost all of the kids I really, really didn't get along with were Jewish, and that the thing about the world that I had always put down to my being different were really the result of me being immersed in a racist Jewish environment. Still, I was an adult and I would put that sort of thing down to being in my past. I thought that the issue of the Jewish community as a relatively minor one until I saw what their policies had done in provoking the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. At that point, I realized that there is probably no more important issue for the United States today than stopping Jewish influence in the government and in the media, and that theme has become very central to a lot of what I have been writing.
Like the 7th Century English king Aethelferth said when he was fighting the Christian British, "if these men invoke their God against us, they are at war with us, even if they have no arms." The disgust that I've felt at seeing mostly Jewish commentators advocating restraints on civil liberties, torture, and war for Israel makes me so sick I often feel like I just want to round the lot (of the commentators) up and machine gun them -- and I think those people that have done this in the past, that rounded up the Bolsheviks who had been starving and destroying Russia and the other Soviet Republics, for instance -- I can certainly understand what they did and why. I can understand why a lot of people joined the Nazi Party, though, like Strasser, I think Hitler and his movement were a disaster for Germany. And I'm not saying I agree with them, but on a purely emotional level, I understand what they were thinking. It's hard not to want to respond violently to the evil and darkness these people peddle, and its hard not to associate this evil with these people common Jewish or heavily Judaized identities.
Thought it hurts me to know that there are a whole lot of Jewish people who are not part of this and who share nothing in common with these elements of their community except a happenstance of birth, and who are probably horrified by what I'm saying, I have to say that those Jews need to speak up and take control of their community back and change the nature of the culture they've been stuck with, because this is not an issue that is going to go away. These folk are being given enough rope to hang themselves, and its not going to be wrong when they are hung -- even if it is anti-Semitic.
And I should add to this that this is something that I honestly don't know what to do about. I wouldn't take anything I say as programmatic -- the recognition of the depth of this problem is something which I have really only recently really absorbed, and I am really sorta floating around out there looking for the magic "Aha!" that let's me realize exactly what is going on. I don't like blaming an entire ethnic group for something, but this problem is more than just "Zionists" or some politicized minority subsegment of American, and apparently international, Judaism.
(9) Recently, you've been the target of some harassment and violence. In early December, you were attacked by members of a radical Christian biker gang. In later December, a group of people photographed you and tried to run your car off the road. A number of groups, including the Church of Scientology, have put up web pages and sent out email obviously trying to harass you. How do you deal with these kinds of issues?
I'm never surprised by violence against me. I'm generally not very upset by it, though I do always at least attempt the formalities of complaining about it. The world is a violent place, and violence is a normal way of handling human social problems. I am convinced that I am here for a certain purpose, and that no act of violence against me can do real harm to me until a time that has been allotted for me to be harmed, in which case that is either part of some greater good, or it is an act that ends me and states that my time here, and what I am here to do, is over.
The world is evil and collapsing. I am not part of the world -- I am just someone who is trying to stand up against it and stop it. The world, of course, then tries to consume me. Decay doesn't attack mold, it attacks healthy organisms. And so to stand up and to declare that I am healthy is like putting a sign on my head saying "mold, do your thing."
I've certainly been involved as both the perpetrator and the victim of a lot of political violence. I have a blow out fracture to my left eye socket from being tortured by police who tried to remove my eye with a stick when I was a teenager, and I have a crushed right hand from fighting with other anarchist factions when I was in college. I spent much of my youth engaged in petty crime and thuggery. So while I don't like being targeted by violence, it doesn't send me into hysteria.
Ultimately, either the good will win or the evil. If the good wins, then evil will eventually be punished. If evil wins, then it wasn't worth sticking around to see the end anyway. What's important is to be focused on your goals and not let people who are beneath your notice distract you.
(10) You have declared yourself an independent candidate for the Maryland legislature. Twice before you have run for school board in your county. Three individuals aligned with you have also declared independent candidacies in Maryland, two for the legislature and one for Montgomery county council. What are your short and long term goals for political organizing in Maryland and what would you like to see happen on that score nationally? How have you been involved nationally?
Yeah, I'm pretty popular here in Montgomery County, particularly in the Up County regions when you can away from the suburbs of DC. I ran twice for school board, as you mentioned, both times with major opposition from the Washington Post and their local newspaper affiliate, the Montgomery Gazette, as well as the entirety of the power structure -- the NAACP and the Jewish Community Center have both gone after me in the press. One racist old Jewish lady told me at an event that I and "all the Germans" (half of my family immigrated from Germany because of religious persecution in the early 18th Century) should be killed in a "new Holocaust" -- a statement which remarkably didn't make it into the Washington Post's news reporting the next day. The Washington Post also ran several articles and editorials last year calling me an "anarchist and a communist" and telling people to vote for my opponents, and I have conducted campaigns in an atmosphere of "media silence", refusing to give mainstream interviews and outright insulting mainstream reporters.
That said, I still managed to win just under 10,000 votes and placed fifth in a nine-way race with two winners, despite being 22 and having no real history of ever having achieved anything in the mainstream world. I took 7% of the vote overall, but it wasn't an even 7% -- it was 2% and 9th place in Bethesda and 15% and 3rd place in Laytonsville. The differences between the bourgeois liberal strongholds and the neighborhoods of working people was like night and day.
Because of that I'm very positive about the prospects of winning a legislative seat this year. I need to take about 16% of the vote to win one of the three available in the district, and I've come very close to that in the past. Also, my name recognition and the amount of funds I have available have increased dramatically.
Right now I have two confirmed candidates who will be slating with me for other offices -- John Latham in the Bethesda district (ironically), and James MacArthur for County Council in Silver Spring and Takoma Park. Given what I managed to do with the Saunders campaign last year (the Constitution Party candidate for Congress), I'm very hopeful.
I'd like to see a third party alternative emerge, and I think it will. I think that the approaches that have been taken in the past -- establishing the party as a kind of social club and not running candidates -- is wrong. I think a party emerges from its candidates, so I have been involved in organizing candidates. What comes from that in the long term we'll have to see.
I have tried working with other groups, the Buchanan campaign being the best example, but I find that most political organizations are intensely focused on appealing to some imagined "middle" that lies somewhere within the confines of the mass-produced debate that the national media enforces, and not on real truth or the real interests of the people who are out of power. I focus on truth, and I'm not very interested in biting my tongue. I'm also not afraid of much -- the Emperor Marcus Aurelius had a very strong influence on me in me early life and I am a confirmed Stoic. I also know, having weathered it in the past, that every newspaper and television station in the country can denounce me, and their total sum ability to have an impact on my life is absolutely nil -- no matter whatthey do, my friends aren't going to leave me, I'm not going to lost my job, and I am much more experienced with political violence than they are, so I'm not really afraid of that either.
As to them saying nasty things about me, to paraphrase Chairman Mao, if bad people don't say bad things about you, you are doing something wrong.
(11) In the 2000 election cycle you actively worked on the Buchanan campaign. Tell us about that experience and about why you left the campaign. what did you learn from that experience and what do you think is the best way of rebuilding the independent movement and moving forward from there?
I was an early non-right-wing supporter of Buchanan, having been impressed with the way he conducted himself during the 1999 Battle in Seattle World Trade Organization riots. I thought his message of socialism for working people -- what he called "economic nationalism" -- was an excellent one, and one with broad appeal. What I discovered in working for him is that his organization was not very interested in the message or in winning votes, but seemed to be focused more on turning a profit for themselves at the expense of the campaign proper.
Political campaigns are not profitable ventures. They are, and should be, the opposite --opportunities to spend tons of money trying to make the world a better place. Buchanan's staff, however, did everything they could to screw everyone they came into contact with in order to get that $12 million dollar federal grant, which they immediately embezzled. Bay, for instance, in the 1996 campaign, not only paid herself a $100,000 a year salary every year through 1998 -- paying herself for two years after the campaign had ended out of campaign funds -- but set up a dummy corporation to do media buys and pocketed, if I recall, something like $600,000 or $800,000 in the process. The breaking point for me in 2000 was when the Buchanan campaign cheated the Reform Party primary -- an event I was witness and privy to, because, being the Maryland coordinator for the Reform Party's ballot access and membership drives, I had all the membership records that in theory someone should have requested for the purpose of sending out ballots. When they weren't requested, I made inquires, and discovered the Bob Bowes, an aide to Buchanan, had arranged to substitute Buchanan contributors from 1996 in place of Reform Party members for the primary vote. That was the real reason that Buchanan won that primary and got that $12 million dollars.
As to the independent movement in general, I don't really think there is much of a movement. There are a lot of folk who want some militantly mediocre alternative to the Republicans and Democrats -- the mediocre middle -- but they aren't going anywhere with that idea because when they start trying to define themselves, they realize that there is no real ideological difference between themselves and the mainstream of either party's power structure. They, ironically, are more opposed to the "extremists", the people who are the actual "independents" within the two parties, then they are opposed to the bourgeoisie themselves.
Then there are the extremists, and I like working within that mile. I am hoping one of them -- any of them -- will break out and become a real organization. Once there is something, then I think its important to start looking at and criticizing what it is, but as long as there is nothing, almost anything will do.
I think it's going to take some more events like September 11 to weaken public confidence in the government to make real change in the American political structure. Until then, Americans are going to happily wonder around, not thinking, assuming everything is okay. September 11 woke up some people, proving that there is a silver lining to every cloud, but not enough -- yet. The question is whether those people can establish enough of a sub-culture to challenge the false reality crafted by the mainstream press and the culture industries, and to lay a foundation to grab the people that become disillusioned by the next big event.
There is certainly a lot more death and destruction awaiting America. I don't know if it will take a nuclear bomb to fix it, or if the nuclear destruction of an American city will be enough -- the drugs that most Americans slumber under are so powerful, I'm not sure if anyone more than 100 miles away from a nuclear blast will care about it any more than I or anyone around here care about the destruction of New York. The radio will play some pre-fabbed songs, tell everyone to be unified, the danger won't rear its head for a month, everyone will go back to sleep, and then a few more thousand more die.
Independent politics can really only be understood in the context of revolutionary politics. Anything else is really just more of the same crap, playing into the same spectacle, achieving the same nothing.
Alexey Navalny returned to Russia on January 17. He was detained upon arrival at the Sheremetyevo Airport. A court arrested Navalny for 30 days