An article about and against the National Socialist Movement, a fascist group who have tried to recruit in Arizona over the immigration issue.
The National Socialist Movement can never advance the working class because it reinforces (duh!) the system of white supremacy. The system of white supremacy is a cross-class alliance between rich whites and working class whites, the objective of which is the maintenance of the exploitative system of capitalism. White supremacy, by providing some meaningful, but in the grand scheme of things, petty privileges to whites, seeks to undermine class unity. These privileges are petty not because they aren't real and sometimes meaningful, but because those that accrue to the white working class are much closer to the ones that non-white people get than they are to the ones that adhere to rich whites. That is, Bill Gates gets to exercise way more benefits of whiteness than the lowliest Nazi scumbag.
In exchange for accepting these privileges, however, whites agree to police the rest of the non-white population. That's the reason white supremacy was created. Originating as an English imperial ideology for the conquest of Ireland and the rest of what we now call Britain, it moved to North America after the rich English elites had trouble with what we would now call a tri-racial alliance against them. Natives, English indentured servants (most of them transported here for petty crimes against the emerging capitalist system in England) and African slaves had a tendency to realize quite quickly in the so-called "New World" that they had much more in common with each other than with the pale-skinned, blue-blooded ruling class that lorded over them. So, they kept getting together and trying to overthrow those titled bastards. Again and again.
This was naturally a problem for the elite, so a hierarchical racialized system was created to divide this class, and to empower the wealthy. It was encoded in law. Whites were given several important privileges. Firstly, they were entitled to a limit on their servitude, while that of Africans was made permanent. Likewise, whites were given access to cleared Indian lands. The new role for whites demanded they act as police and, in relation to the native population, as soldiers. Therefore, a white man was obligated to serve in slave patrols and had the right to demand papers from any Black person he encountered. Likewise, no Native had any rights a white person was required to respect. Here in Arizona, Mexicans were repeatedly disenfranchised and expropriated of their land by white militias, vigilantes, soldiers and early police formations (Arizona Rangers were notorious). All this was backed up by the rich white elite who wanted to exploit Arizona's resources. So, while white supremacy won the land for whites in general, there weren't any rich whites dying in those copper mines. As now, wealthy whites back then got a much better deal.
Over the years this relationship took new and different forms. Now, among the chief privileges of whiteness is a general immunity from police harassment and the threat of prison. Likewise, white families carry many times the wealth, largely inherited, than people of color. This is understandable: this racist, sexist society keeps throwing the male breadwinner of color in prison. Naturally under these conditions family wealth will be much reduced. Continuing, better access to better schools and hospitals, and other things, rounds this system out in the modern day. At the same time, the definition of whiteness expanded as needed, eventually including even the Irish in America, who it was originally framed against.
When you know this, particularly the flexible political nature of whiteness, what you learn is that race is not a born fact, but instead a political relationship. As some have said, you are white when you are treated white. Indeed, many in the so-called white power movement now would not have been considered white even seventy or eighty years ago, and would have been hounded by the very so-called "Nativists" that they now pretend to be.
So, instead, the NSM and other white nationalist groups create fake histories and pray to Norse gods and such. They worship long-suicided leaders that actually sold their type out in the very societies they mythologize. For instance, how many NSM emails start with "stormtrooper"? And yet, in the heat of their Hitler love fest and working class posing, they forget the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler sold out the Nazi SA ("stormtrooper") working class formations (despite their reactionary nature) so he could build alliances with German industrialists, bankers and nobility. Even amongst National Socialist foot soldiers Hitler would brook no working class demands for redistribution of wealth once he got in power, even turning against allies who had been there since the beginning. The NSM are hysterical and a-historical at the same time. Any white person looking for liberation would be wise to look elsewhere.
Returning to the anti-liberatory nature of white supremacy. The benefits of whiteness may seem like a great deal, but because the system of capitalism transfers wealth up the ladder from the working class to the capitalists, and since white supremacy naturally maintains rather than challenges white supremacy, it necessarily means that by defending it, NSM dupes guarantee not only the continued exploitation of people of color, but also, in a cruel irony, of their fellow whites as well. I think this might be why everyone calls them boneheads.
So, you see, this is why all the white supremacist organizing in the last three hundred years or so has not led to the liberation of the white working class. It can't. By definition. If it could have, it would have. Instead, all it does is enrich and entrench a powerful, mostly white elite, who run everyone else's lives.
The way to advance the working class, white or otherwise, is to attack white supremacy. This undermines the glue that holds capitalism together and opens the way for revolutionary struggle and for the advancement of the working class at the expense of the capitalist class. Only a unified working class can take down capital. The Nazi NSM has no answer for this. They offer more division, which only makes the capitalists, white or otherwise, laugh their asses off with glee. Note that you don't hear the NSM calling for the expropriation of the white capitalist class. That's a glimpse at how little things will change under their program. Got a shitty job today? They can guarantee you'll still have it after they take over.
They want white people to take pride in their whiteness precisely because they can offer no real improvement in the other conditions of life - for anyone! It's the old bait and switch. Hence, offering no real way out of the exploitation of capitalism, these boneheads rant and threaten and generally look like caricatures of themselves. Lacking a class critique, as their class position sinks in times of capitalist crisis, they are able only to look down for someone to blame. Their white blinders prevent them from seeing the white capitalist class above them, exploiting them and everyone else.
Indeed, what is the sad mantra of the NSM during this crisis? "Take back your jobs, white people." Pathetic. What a boring, limited vision. Is this all we're worth? I don't know about you, but my job sucks. I don't even want it. Nothing meaningful comes of it. It does nothing for me except pay the bills that I shouldn't have to pay in the first place. Like going to a doctor, or paying rent, or getting food. It's a circular relationship that all goes back to the capitalists in the end.
After all, if we are to believe that it is Mexicans that have taken our jobs, as the NSM claims, we have to ignore the fact that the Arizona capitalist class is made up of white people and it is they who do the hiring and firing. To illustrate the complete ridiculousness of this, let's switch from jobs to housing. Does the NSM also suggest that it is Mexicans that have taken white people's houses? If true, that would mean the bankers that foreclose and the sheriffs who evict us are all undocumented Mexicans. Clearly that is so far from reality as to be totally laughable. Is this the best the NSM can do?
Hear this everyone: The NSM will put you back to work like the wannabe slave drivers that they are. Will you follow the new slavemaster? Can't we think of something better than that? How about instead we expropriate all the money and property that the capitalists stole from all of us and then work a whole lot less? How about we loot the banks, burn all the mortgages and credit card debt, and let everyone stay where they are? The rest of the empty properties can be redistributed. That's a pretty simple thing to do, but it would require going after the capitalist elite, and they are almost totally lily white. Think about how much less you'd have to work if we did that. How much more would you live if we did that?
No more rents. No more mortgages. No more foreclosures. No more deportations.
And isn't a foreclosure a kind of deportation, anyhow? Still, the NSM wants to give you 40 hours a week so that you can stay in your house as long as you consent to the foreclosure/deportation of someone else? What a sad vision -- made possible by the NSM's failure to understand that capitalism in the US is run by rich white folks.
The National Socialist Movement offers the white working class nothing but continued exploitation and misery. If we want freedom, the path is clear: take aim at white supremacy and attack, attack, attack! And those who seek to reinforce the system of capitalist exploitation through the retrograde politics of white racism are not just our natural enemies, but they are our class enemies as well. Let's take them down! Fuck the NSM!
Originally posted: October 28, 2009 at fires never extinguished