[Marxism] White Power

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 6 09:23:13 MDT 2019


LRB, Vol. 41 No. 15 · 1 August 2019
White Power
by Thomas Meaney

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America by 
Kathleen Belew
Harvard, 330 pp, £23.95, April 2018, ISBN 978 0 674 28607 8

Revolutionaries for the Right: Anti-Communist Internationalism and 
Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War by Kyle Burke
North Carolina, 337 pp, June 2018, ISBN 978 1 4696 4073 0

In the spring of 1975, as America’s war in Vietnam drew to its grim 
conclusion, a new magazine targeted readers who did not want it to end. 
Soldier of Fortune was founded by Robert K. Brown, a former Green Beret 
based in Boulder, Colorado, who made the profitable discovery that his 
publication could double as an employment agency for mercenaries and a 
weaponry catalogue. The magazine’s classified ads offered an eclectic 
menu of ‘professional adventure’. You could enlist in Portugal’s war 
against anti-colonial guerrillas in Mozambique or sign up for the sultan 
of Oman’s counterinsurgency against the communist Dhofar rebellion. More 
sedentary readers could buy a ‘Free Cambodia’ T-shirt, donate to an 
anti-Sandinista relief fund, support the search for POWs, stock up on 
Confederate paraphernalia, get a TEC-9 assault pistol, hire a hitman or 
order dynamite by the truckload.

The popularity of a magazine like this, which at the height of its 
circulation in the early 1980s had 190,000 subscribers, testifies to the 
global reach of the paramilitary American right. You could learn more 
about certain corners of the world from its pages than you could from 
the Economist. Soldier of Fortune featured ‘participant’ despatches from 
unofficial war zones, interviews with European colonial rogues, and a 
sense of drama that cast the US as the last bulwark against the 
communist tide. Confederate ‘lost cause’ pathos alternated with a 
buoyant sense of America’s chosenness.

Brown himself led death squads in El Salvador and tours with the 
mujahideen in Afghanistan. By the late 1970s, American mercenaries were 
advertising their services in Rhodesian phonebooks. Twenty years later, 
a handful were serving in Croatian nationalist battalions in the 
Yugoslav wars, with underground American white power organisations 
promoting wider recruitment – and seeking out and funding East German 
neo-Nazis. More recently, some 15 American freelancers have joined 
gonzo-fascist Ukrainian units in the Donbass to fight ‘Putin’s 
communists’, though others see the Russian president as a knight for the 
white power cause.

For more than a century, anti-communism was a reliable binding agent on 
the American right. Disparate factions, from tax protesters and 
libertarians to fundamentalist Christians, from anti-abortion activists 
to the Ku Klux Klan and white power terror cells, could share a common 
enemy. For much of the 20th century, the struggles against communism and 
black progress were close to indistinguishable. In the late 1930s, local 
law enforcement waged war on the Alabama Communist Party and the 12,000 
black members of the Sharecroppers Union; in the 1970s, right-wing US 
politicians actively supported white supremacist Rhodesia and South 
Africa against anti-colonial insurgencies, which were simultaneously 
demonised as black uprisings bent on white submission and as communist 
movements in hock to the Soviet Union. When Dylann Roof murdered nine 
black Christians in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, he demonstrated 
the continuing overlap between white power at home and pro-colonial 
anti-communism abroad: in his profiles online he could be seen proudly 
displaying Rhodesian military regalia.

For the wider American conservative movement, white power may have been 
a useful dog off the leash when it came to unofficially fighting 
far-flung communist insurgencies, but it has also been a liability. 
Faced with the reality of a multiracial America, the mainstream 
Republican Party has mostly been wary of making explicit appeals to 
white identity, much less white power. The dozens of American right-wing 
paramilitary groups that started appearing in the 1970s and 1980s – from 
the Aryan Nations and White Aryan Resistance to the Brüder Schweigen and 
the Phineas Priesthood – have been treated as aberrant outgrowths by 
Republican lawmakers: it helps that the hardcore white power movement in 
America has no more than 25,000 active members. But the type of 
free-market creed that most mainstream conservatives espouse has long 
been reconcilable with white nativist priorities. The Canadian historian 
Quinn Slobodian has recently labelled this apparent ideological mongrel 
‘xenophobic libertarianism’, pointing to the fact that the American 
right has consistently paired the demand for an absolute right to free 
movement of capital with ever more biologised criteria for the exclusion 
of people.

Kathleen Belew’s Bring the War Home and Kyle Burke’s Revolutionaries for 
the Right are complementary accounts of the white power movement, with 
Belew concentrating on white power at home, and Burke on anti-communist 
co-ordination abroad. Together, they show how the American movement was 
nurtured by its foreign experiences and how the global anti-communist 
movement made use of its services. Almost all white supremacists are 
anti-communist, though far from all American anti-communists were white 
supremacists.[1] Yet between them, Belew and Burke have illuminated a 
set of elective affinities between the partisans of white power and the 
heirs of free-market anti-communism – affinities that continue to 
produce explosive results.

The Vietnam War fused white power and anti-communism together. Shared 
wartime experience during World War Two seems to have reduced racism in 
the ranks – Truman went on to desegregate the military in 1948 – but 
Vietnam did the opposite. For the first time in any American war, black 
troops were over-represented in the ranks. Their presence became a 
galvanising political issue for the civil rights movement, whose 
activities in turn became a political issue for many serving white 
soldiers, who came to view black soldiers as unreliable or worse. As US 
forces evacuated Saigon, the more conservative among them felt that they 
had lost one war only to return home to lose another: the civil rights 
movement had put black rights on the national agenda in a way that 
imperilled the white future. Riots broke out on bases and aboard ships. 
At Cam Ranh Bay naval base, black servicemen revolted when white 
soldiers celebrated the death of Martin Luther King by raising the 
Confederate flag. The US military leadership fumblingly tried to 
accommodate the growing number of Black Power activists in Vietnam – 
military bureaucrats started investigating commanders who did not allow 
black troops to wear Afros and slave bracelets – but many troops 
returned from the war committed to a struggle between races.

The Vietnam War had a further pernicious effect: it helped make possible 
the paramilitary expression of racist sentiment. In the first half of 
the 20th century the American far right had conducted a campaign of 
violence against blacks and others, especially in the South. But while 
they could rely on the support of large sections of society for their 
cause, their main aim was to instil fear rather than to try to realise 
fantasies of extermination or separatism. The capacity for more directed 
violence among white power groups that became evident in the 1980s would 
not have been possible without their Vietnam training and access to 
weapons stolen from military bases. Faced with an economic recession 
exacerbated by the war’s vast expenditures, many veterans believed they 
would never find ordinary employment, which led some to gravitate toward 
the fringes of American society both left and right.

John Rambo, for his part, did both. In First Blood (1982), Sylvester 
Stallone’s character is a ‘half-German, half-Indian’ veteran, 
traumatised by the war, who arrives in a small town to pay his respects 
to a black comrade killed by exposure to Agent Orange. Mistaken for a 
hippie grafter, he is hounded by the local police and struggles to find 
work: ‘There [in Vietnam] I flew helicopters, drove tanks, had equipment 
worth millions. Here I can’t even work parking!’ But in Rambo: First 
Blood Part II (1985), Rambo turns right, fighting the Vietnam War all 
over again single-handed. ‘Sir,’ he asks, ‘do we get to win this time?’

*

‘Bring the war home’: what began as an anti-war slogan on the American 
left was appropriated by the extreme right as a proclamation of intent. 
Louis Beam – one of the major strategists of the paramilitary right and 
a central figure in Belew’s book – was a decorated veteran who had 
logged more than a thousand hours as a door-gunner on Huey choppers. 
Back home he promptly joined the Louisiana chapter of the KKK, beginning 
a career that seamlessly combined white power fanaticism with 
anti-communism. In 1977, Beam received a grant from the state of Texas 
to build a simulated Vietnamese rice paddy in swampland near Houston: 
here, he trained recruits as young as 13 to kill an imaginary enemy. 
Four years later a promising opportunity presented itself. A number of 
South Vietnamese refugees had been resettled on the other side of 
Galveston Bay, and local shrimp farmers didn’t want the competition. 
Beam seized on these fears and gave a speech to a crowd of 250 white 
farmers. Shortly afterwards a group of them set out and burned two 
Vietnamese boats, torched crosses on their lawns, and patrolled the bay 
on a ship equipped with a small cannon and a mannequin hanging from a 
noose. The campaign of intimidation was ended by the Southern Poverty 
Law Centre, which won a court order to disband Beam’s group and close 
his training camps.

Crucially, as Belew shows, most American paramilitary groups in the 
years after Vietnam considered themselves vigilantes. They were taking 
up the fight themselves because they believed the state was too cowardly 
or too paralysed to defend itself against Judeo-communist usurpers: the 
liberal establishment was infiltrated, or naive, or merely weak, unable 
to contend with a communist agenda that sought to destroy white nativist 
values and identity. In this conspiracy, blacks often featured as 
unwitting pawns, but that did not spare them from being targeted. In 
1979, nine vehicles carrying Klansmen and neo-Nazis – most of them 
veterans – drove to the site of a march in Greensboro, North Carolina, 
where members of the Communist Workers’ Party were protesting against 
the Klan’s attempt to sabotage their organising of black textile 
workers. Five of the protesters were killed in a shoot-out; 12 were 
wounded. The trial that followed resulted in acquittals for all of the 
accused, including the local police informants who had guided the 
assailants to the march.

Then, in 1980, Ronald Reagan arrived. Here was a president who quoted 
Rambo, referred to the Vietnam War as ‘the noble cause’ and told 
veterans that they had been ‘denied permission to win’. Reagan not only 
made it clear that he intended to open new fronts in the Cold War, he 
even appeared to some on the far right to be paying tribute to their 
tactics. In 1981 a motley group of a dozen mercenaries in Louisiana – 
Klansmen, neo-Nazis, arms smugglers – were caught by the FBI hatching a 
hare-brained scheme to topple the government of the Caribbean island of 
Dominica and restore a puppet dictator through whom they would launder 
funds to the KKK and prepare a staging ground to conquer Grenada. The 
press mocked their failure as ‘the Bayou of Pigs’ (the plan to 
collaborate with a splinter group of local Rastafarians to take down 
what was already a right-wing government strained credulity). But as 
Belew notes, the US invaded Grenada two years later and justified its 
coup with language remarkably similar to that of the Dominican plotters, 
who, like Reagan, referred to the island as a ‘Soviet-Cuban colony’.

The paramilitary right had a tense but ultimately productive 
relationship with Reagan. In 1979 the anti-communist Georgia congressman 
Larry McDonald established the Western Goals Foundation, a privately 
funded version of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which had 
been wound up four years earlier. Like HUAC, McDonald’s database stored 
files on thousands of Americans deemed ‘subversives’, especially those 
who – it was imagined – might be agitating on behalf of communist 
movements in Central America. The information the foundation gathered 
was shared with the FBI and other state agencies, along with the 
recommendation that the government outsource the work of 
counter-insurgency to the very same private security firms that were 
helping to fund the foundation. The increased privatisation of US state 
violence under the Reagan administration fitted neatly with the 
president’s more general anti-statist rhetoric.

Kyle Burke provides a guide to this dark underground territory of the 
Cold War. Just as the civil rights movement spanned the globe, so too 
did the reaction against it. In some regions it was the reaction that 
proved more enduring. Burke devotes space to the largely neglected World 
Anti-Communist League, founded in Taiwan in 1966. The league was 
remarkable for its fusion of Eastern and Western anti-communist funding 
and expertise. The US branch was organised by a gay ex-socialist from 
Brooklyn, Marvin Liebman, who had converted to anti-communism after 
reading Elinor Lipper’s Gulag memoir. Having recruited the US 
congressman Donald Judd and the Catholic priest Daniel Lyons, Liebman 
travelled to Taipei and helped draft the league’s agenda; at the 
league’s 1974 conference William F. Buckley gave the keynote address. 
And then there was John Singlaub, a retired general and another of the 
league’s main organisers, who thought the US government had fumbled the 
urban counter-insurgency against the Black Panthers and other radical 
groups, and that lessons should be learned from the admirable 
ruthlessness with which Latin American and East Asian authoritarians had 
crushed their leftist opponents.

In its early years the league stirred with impossible ambitions, such as 
winning back China for the Kuomintang. By the early 1970s, however, it 
had narrowed its focus. League affiliates in Chile and Argentina were 
considered to have helped score major successes – including Pinochet’s 
coup and the Dirty War. But as Burke shows, the league and its 
offshoots’ activities gradually became too radical for most of its 
American members: too many of those involved, such as the Ukrainian 
nationalist Yaroslav Stetsko, openly flaunted their fascist pedigrees, 
while groups such as Tecos in Mexico, which had once been recruited by 
the Nazis to fight on the US-Mexico border, waged an open campaign of 
terror against Castro-inspired rebels that included bombings, 
assassinations and kidnappings, all barely countered by the Mexican 
security forces.

One of the league’s main purposes was to serve as a headhunting and 
staffing agency for anti-communist operations. Liebman and Singlaub – 
whom Reagan commended for giving him ‘more material for my speeches than 
anybody else’ – became middlemen for right-wing networks that channelled 
millions of dollars from respectable sources (the beer magnate Joseph 
Coors was a major donor) to anti-communist causes and counter-insurgency 
operations around the world. Their largesse was spread wide. Liebman 
founded the Friends of Rhodesian Independence, which led tours for US 
government officials and professors, while Singlaub helped fund arms 
shipments to groups like the Contras in Nicaragua. Special interests 
sometimes clashed. In Angola, Chevron managed to forge an oil 
exploration agreement with the communist MPLA guerrillas, just as 
Singlaub and others – including a young consultant called Paul Manafort 
– successfully lobbied to get the Reagan administration to back their 
client, Jonas Savimbi. That the US government would hinder American 
companies from operating in South Africa, an anti-communist ally, but 
allow them to work with a communist regime in Angola outraged Singlaub 
and his colleagues. They soon called for a boycott of Chevron and 
encouraged Savimbi to attack the company’s Angolan properties.

In Rhodesia, the interests of American white power internationalism and 
American anti-communism dramatically converged. In 1965, Ian Smith’s 
white supremacist regime unilaterally declared Rhodesian independence 
from Britain, emboldened by support from across the US political 
establishment, from Dean Acheson to Bob Dole. When Reagan, as a 
presidential candidate, began flirting with the idea of backing white 
Rhodesians against Robert Mugabe’s growing insurgency, several hundred 
American mercenaries were already fighting there. Congressional attempts 
to establish the exact number – let alone stop them – made little 
progress. Not-so-covert action in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) continued even 
after Mugabe came to power in 1980. As late as 1999, three Americans 
from a right-wing church in Indiana were arrested at Harare airport 
while apparently engaged in a plot to assassinate Mugabe. (His paranoia 
wasn’t always unjustified.)

One lingering puzzle in the history of the paramilitary American right 
is why, in the early 1980s, a small but significant part of the movement 
began to rebel against the US state itself. During Reagan’s first term a 
few thousand members of the KKK and various ersatz militias started down 
a path that would eventually lead to serious clashes with federal 
authorities. In 1984, the white nationalist Robert Jay Mathews founded 
Brüder Schweigen, also known as The Order, a group that sought to bring 
down the US government. After robbing a series of banks to secure funds 
for the cause, Mathews was killed in a shoot-out with federal agents on 
Whidbey Island in Washington State, though his co-conspirators were 
acquitted of sedition by an all-white jury. Even if we grant Belew’s 
point that members of the American right had periodically risen up 
against the US government, Reagan’s election was in part an expression – 
and a vindication – of an explicitly anti-government creed. So why did 
elements of the paramilitary right turn against the government during 
his first term?

Part of the answer seems to be that Reagan was simply too little, too 
late. The most extreme wing of the radical right was already strongly 
critical of some of his appointments, especially of ‘internationalists’ 
such as George H.W. Bush, James Baker and Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger 
was one of the few figures in the administration to show concern about 
white extremism. Reagan only made matters worse by allying himself with 
Jewish neoconservatives, who his far-right critics believed controlled 
the ‘Zionist Occupation Government’. The spectre of the ZOG had emerged 
in mid-1970s American neo-Nazi literature, which updated the Protocols 
of the Elders of Zion for a new generation. It was a case of badly 
dashed expectations: Reagan was surrounding himself with 
neoconservatives who purported to share the paramilitaries’ 
anti-communist passion while secretly they were scheming to divert 
American power to their own cabalistic hyper-capitalism. By elevating 
the identity-erasing power of the purely rational marketplace they were 
really instituting a form of communism under a different name.

So from the vantage point of white power, the Reagan ‘revolution’ was 
anything but. ‘We spent fifty years trying to elect a conservative and 
what have we got?’ Robert Weems, a former KKK chaplain, asked at a rally 
of paramilitaries in 1984. The Reagan administration, Weems declared, 
doesn’t ‘take on the international bankers and the Federal Reserve; they 
think that’s part of our glorious capitalist heritage … They don’t take 
on the Zionists at all because they are the Chosen and our Number One 
ally in the Middle East … [and they won’t] take any stand for the white 
race and its preservation either.’ The extremism of Weems’s 
anti-capitalism marks the point where antisemitic white power and the 
wider anti-communist movement parted ways on questions of principle. But 
this should not lead us to dismiss the wide areas of common cause 
between white power fellow-travellers – whom Belew estimates at around 
450,000 Americans – and today’s most prominent inheritors of the 
anti-communist tradition: free-market internationalists, or 
‘globalists’, as their enemies call them. The current US president’s 
appeal to white nativists – the manna raining daily from Twitter – is in 
this sense hardly contradicted by the fact that he surrounds himself 
with veterans of Wall Street.

*

How, then, could white nationalism further its aims in the post-Vietnam 
era? One possible avenue was through the democratic system. In 1984, the 
racialist lobbyist Willis Carto founded the Populist Party, which 
bundled together ideas of racial purity, anti-Jewish conspiracy thinking 
and concerns about the money supply – in particular any kind of 
inflationary monetary policy that might benefit the wrong kind of poor 
people. The party appeared on ballot papers in 14 states, yet Carto’s 
efforts amounted to little more than a publicity vehicle for figures 
such as the Klansman David Duke and Green Beret vigilante Bo Gritz. In a 
bout of white power infighting, the neo-Nazi factions of the white power 
movement hounded Carto as a swindler of right-wing funds, and a 
‘swarthy’ man of questionable racial make-up.

The second seriously considered option was what became known as the 
Northwest Territorial Imperative, the aim being to consolidate the white 
race in the already very white Pacific Northwest, where an ‘Aryan 
homeland’ would be established. The ‘imperative’ appears today merely 
like an extreme form of gerrymandering. After years of infighting and 
lost lawsuits, its latter-day incarnation is the Northwest Front, which 
operates an innocuous-looking website that displays real-estate advice 
for white patriots and sells the Front’s tricolour flags: ‘The sky is 
the blue, and the land is the green. The white is for the people in 
between.’[2]

There was, however, a third option for white power activists, 
originating with Louis Beam and William Pierce, a.k.a. Andrew Macdonald, 
the movement’s bard. Together they concocted the most influential and 
enduring of the white power projects. In Essays of a Klansman, published 
in 1983, Beam advocated an all-out race war. The civil rights battles, 
he argued, had already been lost. But the best response was not to make 
a bid for a return to segregation: that was far too moderate an 
ambition. What was called for instead was white national liberation of 
the entire US mainland. The real culprit was ‘communist-inspired racial 
mixing’ and the real enemies were the ‘white racial traitors’ who had 
allowed it to happen. Beam wanted to redirect the energies of white 
power against those elements of the federal government which he believed 
had betrayed its original constitutional mandate to protect the white race.

Beam’s most inspired innovation was his blueprint for ‘leaderless 
resistance’, a model of guerrilla warfare, borrowed from communist and 
anti-colonial partisans, in which small cells operate in concert but 
without knowing the leaders of the other cells, removing any chance of 
their informing on one another. The move away from bands of local 
vigilante groups to anonymous, spread-out terror cells marked a major 
shift in the white power movement – reflecting an understanding that it 
was no longer operating merely in local contexts. Beam himself, Belew 
stresses, was an early and ardent adopter of the internet, making use of 
codeword-accessible message boards, pen pal programs and online 
advertising to spread the word of white power.

*

If Beam was known as the ‘general’ of the white power movement, Pierce – 
who had taught physics at Oregon State – was the ‘strategist’. In 1978 
he published The Turner Diaries, a novel that went on to sell half a 
million copies. The book purports to be the diary of a bygone racist 
revolutionary who helped to overthrow the US government; the civil war 
begins when Congress passes the ‘Cohen Act’, banning the use of all 
firearms. But a small patriotic ‘organisation’ eventually prevails 
against this tyranny. Blacks in the South are bombed into oblivion with 
nuclear weapons, the Jews experience another Holocaust and women become 
a servant class. The US dollar is abolished, the calendar is set back to 
zero and the federal government goes down in flames when a biplane with 
a sixty-kiloton warhead flies into the Pentagon.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 presented more favourable 
conditions for Beam and Pierce’s fantasies to be put into action. Their 
views were now echoed in mainstream culture. Pat Robertson’s bestselling 
The New World Order (1991) claimed to unveil a vast Jewish-capitalist 
conspiracy, while Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s pseudoscience 
blockbuster, The Bell Curve (1994), laboured to justify America’s racial 
hierarchy. In 1989, Beam had already put the question to his brethren: 
‘Now that the threat of communist takeover in the United States is 
non-existent, who will be the enemy we all agree to hate?’ Highly 
publicised stand-offs in the 1990s seemed to confirm that his faction 
had been right to double down on the federal government as their 
enemy.[3] At Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992, the Vietnam veteran Randy Weaver 
and his family exchanged fire with federal forces; Weaver’s wife and son 
were killed in paradigmatic displays of white martyrdom. During the Waco 
siege of 1993, federal agents stormed the compound of the Branch 
Davidian religious sect and 76 people were killed. Despite the sect’s 
lack of connection to the white power movement, the siege became a 
rallying cause for paramilitary groups that feared state overreach.

One television viewer galvanised by the Waco raid was Timothy McVeigh, 
then 24 years old. A Gulf War veteran who had seen sustained combat and 
been exposed in training to the same cyanocarbon tear gas used by ATF 
agents at Waco, McVeigh was an ideal candidate for Beam’s ‘leaderless 
resistance’. In 1995, after he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal 
Building in Oklahoma City – until 9/11 the deadliest terrorist attack in 
US history – he was tried as a ‘lone wolf’ killer, despite his 
connections with wider paramilitary networks, such as the Michigan 
Militia and the ‘Viper’ militia of Arizona, and his stash of white power 
literature (he was a steady consumer of right-wing ‘zines’). In his 
case, the tactics of leaderless resistance paid off. Instead of hunting 
down the co-conspirators and publicising the networks, information and 
material that McVeigh had relied on, the media in general presented him 
as an isolated psychopath.

But McVeigh should interest us perhaps more for the person he became in 
prison. By the time of his execution, in 2001, he had begun to sound 
like a contributor to Counterpunch. Here he was, cogently, in 1998:

If Saddam is such a demon, and people are calling for war crimes charges 
and trials against him and his nation, why do we not hear the same cry 
for blood directed at those responsible for even greater amounts of 
‘mass destruction’ – like those responsible and involved in dropping 
bombs on [Iraqi] cities. The truth is, the US has set the standard when 
it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction.

The connections between American violence abroad and American violence 
at home seemed self-evident to McVeigh, but for the majority of 
Americans even to hint at such connections remains taboo.

Donald Trump has been the most significant beneficiary of the hypocrisy 
of American foreign policy as described by McVeigh. Before the last 
presidential election, no other candidate, Bernie Sanders included, was 
so savage in his reckoning of America’s recent foreign ventures. ‘A 
complete waste,’ he called the country’s longest war. ‘Our troops are 
being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there.’ Nor 
has any other president in recent memory capitalised more on the 
humiliation of those who fight in, or traditionally support, America’s 
wars. Winning for the president pertains to more than trade. Whatever 
the ultimate fortunes of the combined forces of American reaction, the 
‘leaderless resistance’ is likely to continue. It has rarely been 
clearer that those who cheer on American interventions abroad should be 
prepared for more ferocious nativist terror at home.

[1] The designations ‘white nationalist’, ‘white separatist’ and ‘white 
supremacist’ are often conflated – even by proponents of each – but they 
can refer to different worldviews. A white nationalist demands at a 
minimum that a nation-state – such as the US or Rhodesia – have as its 
main purpose the interests of white citizens. In some variations, white 
nationalism has implicitly genocidal ambitions, but in others, as in 
South Africa and Rhodesia, non-whites would remain in view, or in 
separate zones, as inferior citizens. White separatists are typically 
interested in creating white societies, without much or any state 
capacity, in new territories. They see themselves as latter-day white 
settlers. White supremacists believe that the white race is inherently 
superior to all other races, a supposition often – but not always – 
shared by white nationalists.

[2] The main and most effective strategy against white power movements 
has been the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s strategy of bankrupting them 
with lawsuits.

[3] It has been argued by many that, since the end of the Cold War, 
there has been a need – both on the part of the US state and on that of 
white nationalists – for a new enemy to replace communism. Islam is 
often proffered as the replacement in both cases, but it has never come 
close to filling the space left behind by communism. Some nativist 
terror groups do take Muslims as their primary target. The Council on 
Islamic-American Relations estimates that nine mosques are targeted each 
month in the US. Other attractive substitutes have included people on 
the southern border, as well as China. The last pages of The Turner 
Diaries describe a race war in the Urals, where the Chinese, like the 
Turks before them, attempt to conquer the West, and this time are only 
stopped by ‘chemical, biological and radiological means, on an enormous 
scale’.



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