Peter O'Donnell wrote:Frankly, I don't think we can accept that there are any neo-Nazis in Canada unless candidates for that dubious distinction come out and say that's what they are, because one of the most obvious tell-tale signs of Nazism is a vast reluctance to hide that fact. Any cursory examination of history will reveal this to be the case. Nazis tend to make quite a show of their beliefs.
The genuine and unrepentant fascist who knows his history and philosophy is as rare as hen's teeth and does not advertise. I'm talking about the sort of fellow who has read the transcripts of the Nuremburg trials and has a first edition of Yockey's Imperium in his library. A kid who is doing it for attention or to piss off his teachers does advertise. There are also fellows I've seen who looked to be unfairly labelled to begin with, figured they were screwed anyways, and decided to ham it up. Of the first I have in my lifetime encountered precisely one who was willing to engage in open and unguarded conversations with myself and others. He did not live in Canada. I'll call him Roger. Roger was worshipped by the "white power" types but he himself kept a very low profile, and I several times had the impression that he despised his own followers who shamelessly plagiarised his work.
I had previously found it was a rare treat to converse and debate with a genuine unrepentant Communist who had actually read the books and knew what he was on about. Most "Communists" have never read much of Marx or Engels, never mind Krepotkin, Bakunin, or Volterine de Claire. More often the wannabees'll start with "I'm no Communist, but.... " followed by arguments in favour of state-run health care (to use one example). Finding a genuine Communist who knows his stuff and is willing to explain and defend his faith in civil conversation is not as rare as finding a genuine Fascist, but it's not something that happens every day.
Finding either and approaching them politely, in the spirit of academic inquiry, is necessary to understand the ideas and events of the 20th century. Events and ideas which largely happened before I was born, and which are today hidden behind a screen of half-truths and propaganda. In either case I was unpleasantly surprised to find that the sort of "talking points" you'll hear in the press or university classrooms don't stand up well in a free and open debate. I don't want to get into it too much. It is heady and dangerous stuff. I will say that I no longer wonder how it was that the Germans were seduced by fascism.
Communists and Fascists are each heavily influenced by the idolatry of the French Revolution, and by Hegel's dialectic. The fascists are also very much influenced by Spengler's Decline of the West
and by the works of Nietzsche. I might have been taken up with either if I had not read St. Augustine and known what natural idolatry was, and why it is an error in logic. I had read some of the Classics and had identified in Communism a modern version of Plato, and had identified Fascism as generally Aristotelian. These identifications explain much of their mutual hostility.
I met Roger online through a friend who shared an interest in Nietzsche, the war in Kosovo, and since it was happening at the time, the UK libel trial of David Irving. Irving's trial was not the first show trial Roger had followed closely. His research in the matter seemed impossibly thorough and accurate. I regret that I have never read anything by Irving, to see if what is said of him is true. I was genuinely afraid that I might find Roger was right. I was breaking polite Canadian society's single greatest taboo merely by speaking with him, and I was acutely aware of it. Roger was aware of this also, and unlike his followers he was remarkably gentle and never pushy in his conversations.
Roger was no lightweight and I'll wager he could have stumped anyone on this board in a debate, myself included. In fact, he did. "Uncomfortable" doesn't quite describe the feeling of losing a polite academic-style debate with a white supremacist -- a guy you aren't supposed to talk to in the first place. As an intellectual I have never met his equal. I created a small members-only forum using software similar to FD's specifically to provide a place where our conversations would not be interrupted by the more vulgar types you so often meet in both the Communist and Fascist camps. It is nearly impossible to discuss these matters without attracting gangs of stone-throwing yobs. I did not want these conversations to be known to anyone who was not a participant. For the most part everyone was very polite, with almost the exaggerated good manners of a Judo match. As the admin I mostly observed, but I did have the opportunity to engage him in three or four threads.
I was then in my late 20s and while I had some knowledge of the Classics I had very little knowledge of modern history or philosophy. Roger had an encyclopaedic knowledge of nineteenth and twentieth century history and philosophy, as well as a good knowledge of the Classics. It was through these conversations that I gained a better understanding of Nietzsche, was introduced to the works of Hegel and Max Stirner, and placed Stirner and Marx among the Young Hegelians. I was also introduced to the work of Francis Parker Yockey, an American lawyer who was hired on by the prosecution at the Nuremburg Trials and quit in disgust after less than a year. Yockey's book Imperium
is an excellent introduction to post-war 20th century fascism.
Roger had not read St. Augustine, but he had read of St. Augustine and expressed some curiosity. We had a brief chat about Tacitus whom we had both read, and the last I heard from him he strongly urged me to read Thucydides' The Peloponnessian War
, which I did. Roger never had the chance to read Augustine. I very much wish he had. Shortly after these conversations began he was found dead in his favourite chair, with a book on his lap. He was not yet 40. Cause of death was given as heart failure. There were no signs of violence or forced entry, but his computer had been opened. Someone took his hard drive. I heard of these events third hand from someone who knew his mother.
I have often regretted that Roger died before I had a chance to learn more from him. Over the years since I have often disagreed with his (and Yockey's) conclusions, but I never once caught Roger in a lie, nor found any fault in his research or the facts which have led us to different conclusions. He was much more knowledgeable than any Communist I have ever met and filled in many of the blank spots in my own reading and education.
The fundamental error of both the Communists and the Fascists lies in what Augustine described as natural idolatry. I don't belong in either camp. I see them both as pagans. That said, any young man who is trying to figure out why the modern world around him is so completely effed up is going to spend some time examining both modern Communism and modern Fascism, despite the risk of being smeared along the way.
Crash wrote:Why is he on a message board that promotes "White Power"?
My experience of the "White Power" movement is that it attracts many who have rejected Communism. If you are young, and have rejected the indocrination efforts of your local high school, then these guys will tell you -- with all a young man's anger -- who and what the Communists are and what they've been up to. If you have rejected Communism (Liberalism, in the American sense) and are not a Christian then the first fellow travellers you are likely to meet are Fascists. If you have been subjected to a smear campaign, then the attraction is all the greater, as the Fascists generally have kept extensive documentation of previous smear campaigns and are quite familiar with the sort of tactics used by the likes of Dicky Warman and the CJC. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that. Even if he is not one of them, I think it is unlikely that Mr. Lamire could have found a better source of research and support in his defence, despite the risk of guilt by association. That research -- as Connie has discovered -- can be well worth the risk.
The "racism" and "white power" aspects of fascism have never struck me so much as core doctrine, but a product of it. Today they seem rather a sort of litmus test. If you aren't willing to break Communist taboos and reject multiculturalism, then you won't be trusted. As Padraigh has pointed out, pride is much more common and is not the same thing as supremacy. Fascist doctrine involves a lot more than mere genetics, but you won't hear much of it if you have not demonstrably rejected Communism. Mostly the racial stuff is a taboo, and the younger, less educated and more excitable types take a great and often childish delight in breaking it, as Mr. O'Donnell has noted.
I am very hesitant to hit the "Submit" button. Threads like this tend to degenerate quickly and attract yobs -- guys more interested in fighting than philosophy.