"Too stupid to be alive" Jeff Bale's war on woke

Three Jeff Bales immersed in a collage of right wing men.

Comrade Motopu takes a closer look at extremism researcher Jeffrey Bale's politics and finds them to be extremely bad.

Submitted by Comrade Motopu on June 22, 2024

Dear reader, If this looks too long to read when it loads, know that the bottom 40% is all images of Jeff Bale's tweets. Enjoy!

Most people are too stupid to be alive...
Jeff Bale

I recently read Spencer Sunshine’s new book Neo-Nazi Terrorism and Countercultural Fascism: The Origins and Afterlife of James Mason’s Siege.

It provides a history of segments of the post World War II neo-Nazi movement in the U.S. including such figures as George Lincoln Rockwell, James Mason, and William Pearce (The Turner Diaries) who had all been in Rockwell’s American Nazi Party (ANP). The splintering into the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP), the National Socialist Liberation Front (NSLF) and a host of others is traced to follow the various fights over leadership and debates about tactics and ideology, as well as movement outreach efforts, ebb and flow.

Sunshine also exposes the “Abraxas Circle” who were a kind of bohemian or “subcultural fascist” group that mixed Satanic, Nazi, and other fascist influences in an effort to spark cultural and political change. One of their strategies was introducing fascist and white supremacist ideas to hipsters, especially scenes that were predominantly white. The group included Adam Parfrey (Feral House press), Boyd Rice (industrial band NON), Michael Moynihan (neo-Folk group Blood Axis), and Nikolas Schreck (schlock rock band Radio Werewolf).

They had connections to all manner of white supremacist and neo-Nazi leaders, including James Mason, the one time leader of the National Socialist Liberation Front (NSLF), which had broken with the American Nazi Party (ANP) after the death of their charismatic leader George Lincoln Rockwell. The NSLF focussed more on direct action, violence, and terror than the old ANP. It was the Abraxas group that contacted Mason and eventually published a collection of his essays in the book Siege, edited by Moynihan.

This Abraxas group was already understood by many as genuinely fascist, despite their constant attempts to confuse the issue, but Sunshine’s new book provides massive amounts of primary sources proving the case. This includes collections of personal papers, including correspondence between Abraxas and James Mason. The release of Siege helped revive interest in the neo-Nazi movement in the US and Mason later became a mentor to the terror group Atomwaffen.

I was going to write a review of it but I couldn’t stop thinking back to my own reaction to the Abraxas Circle’s post-Abraxas output. They disbanded around 1992 but in the late 1990s I started to see more of the individual members' writing, interviews, and hear more of their music as they gained prominence in “underground” scenes. I agree with Sunshine’s view that this Abraxas Circle is a major forerunner of the alt-Right and current MAGA, Qanon, and 4chan irony poisoned fascist adjacent actors as well as an influence on full on neo-Nazi groups of today.

I was around for some of this

Part of what attracted me to Spencer Sunshine’s book is my own participation in various punk subcultures and working in music retail and distribution. I had come across some of the publications, music, and interviews of the individuals he covers. I grew up in Hawaii and attended underground rock, punk and new wave gigs there since the late 1970s, starting as a young teen, of both local and the rare nationally touring bands that would come through. In 1986 I moved with a contingent of punks from Hawaii to Los Angeles to play music.

White Aryan Resistance

One of the many clubs we would see gigs at was a Long Beach venue called Fender’s Ballroom. They had a lot of great shows but the place was also teeming with violent neo-Nazi skinheads. I remember heading into one gig and becoming aware of an old beat up Ford four door cruiser full of skinheads coasting slowly beside my friend and I as we walked. “Are you Jewish?” one of them smirked. Luckily nothing ever happened to us. Inside the club you would typically see packs of fascist skins chasing and beating some defenseless kid. Then things would just sort of go back to normal. Many punk scenes have stories of organizing to kick the Nazis out but they seem to be a perennial menace.

The Nazi skins at Fender’s distributed "White Aryan Resistance" papers, the propaganda rag of Tom Metzger’s group. Somehow we got a couple of these to take home, I think off the ground after someone threw them out (didn’t pay for any!). One of the funniest articles that had our entire household clutching our sides with laughter was about how punk and hardcore had no roots in Black music. Instead, polka was the root form. Can’t you hear it in the hardcore beat? Oompa! Oompa! Oompa!

Los Angeles to San Francisco

In both Los Angeles and San Francisco, in the 80s, I had canvassed door to door for the nuclear weapons freeze (SANE), just to give you an idea of my basic political leanings at the time. Over time I developed a radical anti-capitalist and anti-tankie view. This became more fully developed when I went back to state college in the late 1990s, and even more when I joined in with direct action anarchist communists in the Bay Area.

By 1988 I lived in San Francisco. In the early 90s I worked for over a year at Rough Trade Distribution, where I heard a lot of great music, and some not so great, like the Boyd Rice Music, Martinis, and Misanthropy album. It was in heavy rotation for a while in the warehouse and I found it weak and lifeless compared to the original source material it tried simultaneously to mock and emulate. The lyrics are so up front in the mix, even I couldn’t miss the “ironic” fascism of it, and I disliked it strongly. I had heard other industrial and noise bands and liked them fine, and knew a bit about Rice being from that tradition, but I didn’t like his angle.

So I was around some of the zines and music that were connected to the subjects of Spencer Sunshine’s book. I was pretty unsuspecting for a long time, more interested in new sounds, people and adventures, as well as playing music, than in researching the deeper politics of every band, especially ones I didn’t care much about.

The Magazine Section

By the mid 1990s I worked at a Tower Records where I ran the magazine section. Tower had a bunch of the titles related to an emerging “esoteric” fascist movement, from Seconds to Ohm Clock and a handful of others. Keep in mind there were thousands of magazine and zine titles of every genre. The fascist ones were not extremely popular, but sold a couple of copies.

When Michael Moynihan’s book Lords of Chaos (LOC co-authored with Didrik Soderlind) came out it helped spark an explosion of interest in Black Metal. LOC helped develop a subversive taste for the forbidden politics of the more fascist side of the genre. The sense I got was many people just saw that side of it as a subversive new flavor rather than believing in the politics, kind of how Charles Manson shirts had become popular in the 80s as a shock value statement.

Over time I started to piece together the various musicians like Boyd Rice, bands like Blood Axis, publishers like Feral House, writers, and other figures that were pushing a weird blend of thinly veiled fascism, misanthropy, and Social Darwinism in a subcultural package. The writers and bands flirted with or embraced fascism, from what I could see, while putting forward a mealy mouthed “who me, a fascist?” plausible deniability for the general public.

It was gross. and incredibly annoying! At the time I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it who understood my uneasiness with the increasingly popular genre. I was already “triggered” by the late 90s.

With the above in mind, this is why instead of making this a review of Spencer Sunshine’s book, I’m going to share some thoughts on a key underground hardcore-punk figure of the 80s. He went on to become a respected researcher known in academic circles for covering neo-fascists and other extremist groups of the Left and Right. He doesn’t seem to come in for a lot of criticism from academic extremism researchers, but the guy’s politics are plain vanilla contrarian alt-right, with all the usual enabling of things farther right, and attacks on the Left which those politics entail.

Jeff Bale

I’ll start with an intro to who Bale is, then take a look at his writing in 1999. From there we’ll jump forward to examine the ideology embodied in the language he uses in the intro to his 2023 book on the literature about the radical Right, and finish by looking at his horrendous tweets.

MRR

Jeffrey Bale is a cofounder, along with Tim Yohannan, Jello Biafra, and Ruth Schwartz of one of the most popular punk and hardcore magazines “Maximum Rocknroll.” I had read some of Bale’s columns in MRR and seen some of the angry debates he had with other shit workers and readers. Bale’s bristling punk-dick attitude eventually rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and he was kicked out of the MRR project, by Tim, in December of 1993. For me the problem with Bale is not that he hates some of the shallow politics or apologism for authoritarian Left regimes that percolate in Left and punk circles, it’s that his own politics are Right wing.

Hit List

After being banished from MRR, Bale eventually put out his own magazine called “Hit List,” it’s first issue published for February/March of 1999. He made clear that he’d be willing to not only platform fascists in his new magazine, but take money from them, and promote their music and their businesses: “Indeed, don’t be too surprised if you find an ad for Resistance Records side by side with one for a label or publication like Profane Existence. If you’ve got a problem with that, too bad” (Hit List #1, p. 10).

Lords of Chaos side by side with Hit List #1

As if excited by interaction with a real fascist bad boy, Michael Moynihan, for his debut issue of Hit List, Bale lets his hair down: “Most people are too stupid to be alive, much less to be granted a forum to display their shocking levels of ignorance in our magazine” (Hit List #1, p. 10). Just playin’ around with some misanthropic genocide talk to get in the mood.

Bale makes the case that he is not stupid like most people in his introduction to the first issue. “After all, I have a reading knowledge of seven languages...and have become (in part by default) the world's leading authority on the history of underground neo-fascist terrorist networks in the post-World War II era” (Hit List #1, p. 7). Such humility.

The debut issue’s cover featured a full page image of a burning 19th century Swedish church reproduced from the cover of Lords of Chaos. The issue capitalized on the popularity of Moynihan’s 1998 book, which was bringing the Norwegian and broader Scandinavian Black Metal scene to many US readers and music fans for the first time. Jeff Bale wrote gushingly about Moynihan, who was also interviewed and featured as the main subject of the feature essay “How Black is Black Metal?”

Having read many interviews with him in underground rightist publications, and having been impressed with his intelligence, outspokeness, and willingness to express controversial opinions...
...(I was even considering offering him the opportunity to write a regular column in this magazine, something which is still not outside the realm of possibility) (Hit List #1, p.35).

Why not?!! Free speech, and all that stuff. The overall impression that Bale makes is someone who doesn’t realize the seriousness of the subject he’s covering. I can’t help but draw some parallels between Bale’s fawning praise for Moynihan for daring to think independently (regardless of the content of his thoughts) along with his fetishizing free speech, and the Abraxas Circle who often framed their promotion and publication of racists and neo-Nazis in terms of free speech, appreciating the weirdness of fringe culture etc. In the latter case, Abraxas members often clarified they genuinely wanted to spread these ideas with the hope they would catch on, including violence and murder. Jeff Bale still pretends he’s just “an old fashioned liberal” alienated by how woke the Left has become. This is bullshit.

In Hit List #1, fascism scholar Kevin Coogan gave a critical overview of Moynihan’s book and the broader “countercultural fascist underground” he moved in, along with an overview of some of the Black Metal figures from LOC. Bale wrote the intro to this, which included a sloppy and not very critical “definition” of fascism and fascist movements.

Before looking at Bale’s definition of fascism, it’s relevant to see how he soft peddles Michael Moynihan’s fascism as maybe embodying a well thought out critique of society. Then we can consider his definition of fascism in that light.

In my opinion Moynihan is clearly associated with the "countercultural fascist" milieu in the broadest sense of that term, although he himself seems to be less of a true fascist than a devotee of an older pagan, aristocratic European Ur culture which he sees as being threatened by both the "slave mentality" of Christianity and the crass, "soul-destroying" materialistic forces associated with international capitalism, which nowadays operate loosely under the aegis of the United States (Hit List #1, p.34).

This isn’t too weird. Weren’t there “anti-globalization” protests in Seattle in 1999 the year this was published? You can already see how a lot of this right wing garbage always seeks entry into Left or alternative spaces by being presented as normal, having commonality with progressive and radical Left analysis.

We also can already see the half-ass take on capitalism as a system allegedly “under the aegis of the United States” (Bale’s words, not Moynihan’s). Bale might have meant that the US seemed to be the last standing super power after the seeming end to the Cold War, the country most dedicated to making sure capitalist exploitation continued, and to their favor.

But capitalism is a system that operates not due to one or another nation upholding the system, but, as Ellen Meiksins Wood explains, because all players in a global capitalist system face an IMPERATIVE to produce capitalistically or fall by the wayside. Yes, there are wars and oppression that accompany capitalist discipline when one capitalist power wants to occupy the most advantageous position in accumulating wealth, but no one country has to lead the way cheering on the others: “That’s it boys! Keep the capitalist machines humming!” At some point hundreds of years ago, the option to compete capitalistically became an imperative. Participation in the market economy became mandatory for workers and capitalists alike. With no “outside” the global market economy, there is no need for the system to function under the “aegis” of anything but itself.

I comment on this just to show that despite Bale’s self proclaimed status as a genius and an expert, he doesn’t really have a grasp of the current global system of production. That’s a pretty big blind spot that will only become more glaring the more we look at Bale’s writing and then finish with his social media.

Bale continues:

Whether he [Moynihan] is also an active proponent of some sort of de facto alliance between all extremist "anti-bourgeois" forces — left, right, or sociopathic — against the "New World Order" is less certain, although one could certainly be forgiven for assuming that he is.

If so, that is certainly nothing to be ashamed of (Hit List #1, p. 34-35).

Bale is apologizing for Moynihan’s apparently legitimate opposition to some notion of capitalist exploitation that Bale lays out for him. He frames it in class terms, that it’s “anti-bourgeoisie.” We’ll return to the class rhetoric of fascism vs. the reality below but for now we just note that Bale really takes Moynihan, and all fascists at their word when they talk as if they are class warriors.

Bale:

Any thoughtful person should be concerned about the growing homogenization of the world, which by definition is leading to the transformation and degeneration — if not the outright disappearance — of a diverse array of fascinating, highly developed, and accomplished older cultures, not to mention the values they embody, both positive and negative...(Hit List #1, p. 37).

Bale makes it sound like Moynihan’s fascist crusade is really all about standing up for the marginalized, the little guy, cultures in danger of being destroyed by imperialism. He has to totally ignore that Moynihan and the Abraxas Circle are promoting white supremacy and neo-Nazism, along with Social Darwinism, including Rice’s constant call for mass murder of a majority of the people on the planet as part of a eugenic cleansing. Abraxas as a group signed off on all of it, as did James Mason and Charles Manson, both of whom Abraxas promoted.

Bale again:

...or for exhibiting contempt for the masses, who generally do display the sort of sheep-like behavior they are often castigated for I myself have a great deal of contempt for most people, and believe that the world would be a far better place if its enormous population of ignoramuses and fools was significantly reduced (Hit List #1, p.35).

Again, Bale wants in on the exterminationist and pro-genocide beliefs of the Abraxas Circle, in the name of purifying humanity until only truly valuable people like him remain. Or maybe he’s “just joking” like the alt-Right always claims, a tactic of irony and plausible deniability the Abraxas Circle wrote the playbook for.

Bale defines Fascism

Bale provides a definition of fascism in the intro section to Kevin Coogan’s article:

“The ideological common denominator of all genuinely fascist movements lies in their attempts to conjoin 1) radical currents of nationalism and 2) an anti-materialist, non-Marxist type of socialism” (Hit List #1, p.34).

This is wrong but it fits Bale’s general strategy of ascribing “socialist” status to all fascism. One might argue that some fascist movements, or that various fascist movements at certain phases of their development, or that certain factions of fascist movements have held some type of “socialist” ideological positions. But it’s just lazy and arguing in bad faith to take fascists at their word when slightly scratching the surface of their rhetoric, or even comparing it to what they actually do, shows that any claim to fascist “socialism” is dubious.

We have to be clear that Bale is defining an “ideological common denominator” of “all genuinely fascist movements” when he claims these must be “non-Marxist type of socialism.” The wording there leaves him an out: “If it’s not socialist it’s not genuinely fascist” he could say.

Let’s take the German NSDAP Nazi Party. They were not ideologically socialists. For a movement or party to qualify as socialist it must at the bare minimum see a conflict between social classes, bourgeoisie and working class. Once that is established, socialists may theorize that a path of reforms, as with social democrats, or one stressing the likely necessity of revolution, as with Marx and Engels considerations on Europe for the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA or First International) is the correct means to the end. Nazis, on the other hand, opposed class struggle. They used socialist and pro-working-class sounding rhetoric to pry workers from socialist parties and trade unions.

The unprecedented carnage of World War I followed by the global Great Depression had undermined certainty and support for the alleged bright future promised by capitalists, and this had to be addressed by any political group competing for support. The socialist parties of Europe were a historical force (though they too had jettisoned much of their class struggle and revolutionary theory and had become absorbed into state sanctioned electoral reformist politics by the arrival of WWI) and trade unions were large (though many had shrunk for a time in the first part of the Great Depression).

The “National Socialists” attacked and crushed socialist parties, and when they did take over they dismantled working class organizations and created new unions controlled by the Nazi party. A union that is not in opposition to the bosses is not a working class union. The goal was class collaboration and labor peace based on national and ethnic identity.

Bale sees fascists as inherently opposed to the bourgeoisie and “international capitalism”

Bale calls out the “frequent misrepresentation of fascist movements” as inherently conservative or pro-capitalist:

Given the frequent misrepresentation of fascist movements as defenders of “capital ”, conservatism, and “reaction”, it is important to emphasize that for radical fascists, international capitalism has normally been as high up on the “enemies list ” as international forms of socialism and “bourgeois” parliamentary democracy. (Hitlist #1, p. 34)

Notice the pivot, in the first quote above, from him saying that “fascist movements” are misrepresented as defenders of capital to making a narrower point about “radical fascists” hating international capitalism.

These “radical fascists” could refer to fascist groups that emerged post WWII, or to small minorities that were marginalized or liquidated from the original fascist movements or parties. It could simply be that elements of corporatism or social democratic policies in a fascist economy are read as “socialist” because they regulate capitalist production in some way, or tie it to the state. If you set the bar low enough, anything that mildly interferes with total laissez faire can be seen as socialist.

Even the various early Nazis who were openly interested in “socialism” tended toward admiration of “National Bolshevism” (not socialism), or specific criticisms of “Jewish Capitalism” or “international capitalism” (which also usually just meant the Jews).

Prominent scholar of Nazi Germany and Hitler, Ian Kershaw wrote about the pan-German economics expert Gottfried Fedder giving speeches “distinguishing between ‘productive’ capital and ‘rapacious’ capital (which he associated with the Jews)” and that these “made a deep impression on Hitler, and eventually led to Feder’s role as the economics ‘guru’ of the early Nazi Party” (Kershaw, Hitler, p.177).

Nazis did defend capital. They did not dismantle private property. They did not abolish waged labor or surplus value extraction for profits. It’s important to remember that nationalizing industries is not inherently “socialist” and happens all the time in capitalist economies. The Nazis didn’t seriously challenge the class structure of capitalism (as Kershaw explains in another book The Nazi Dictatorship).

Robert O. Paxton noted in The Anatomy of Fascismthat:

Whenever fascist parties acquired power, however, they did nothing to carry out these anticapitalist threats. By contrast, they enforced with the utmost violence and thoroughness their threats against socialism. Street fights over turf with young communists were among their most powerful propaganda images. Once in power, fascist regimes banned strikes, dissolved independent labor unions, lowered wage earners’ purchasing power, and showered money on armaments industries, to the immense satisfaction of employers.

When they denounced the bourgeoisie, it was for being too flabby and individualistic to make a nation strong, not for robbing workers of the value they added. What they criticized in capitalism was not its exploitation but its materialism, its indifference to the nation, its inability to stir souls.
(Paxton, 10-11)

Bale is wrong that the ideological common denominator of fascist ideology is socialist, and he’s wrong that it’s a “misrepresentation” to say that fascists defended capitalism.

He wants so badly for socialism to be the norm for fascists, as is apparent when he writes that “Nazism was an atypical variant of fascism in that both the movement's nationalist and socialist components were overshadowed by the Hitler wing's fixation on biological racism and eugenics” (Hit List #1, p. 34).

But the same could be said for the Italian fascists, that they did not attack capitalism in a meaningful way, and that whatever “socialist” elements there were to their policies at any given phase from 1922 to 1943 would fall under the categories I mention above (not meaningfully socialist). Nationalizing and public/private partnerships are not socialism.

So if the two main fascist movements that actually took power didn’t dismantle capitalist social relations and value production, didn’t drastically change the class structure of society, and didn’t even try to transfer power over society to the working class (both established class collaboration along national lines), what are we even talking about when we discuss socialism?

My guess is that part of the problem is this compartmentalizing habit that Bale has, where he seems to think that “nationalism” is completely separate from class exploitation, when in fact, the existence of a nation state is predicated on national identity overriding class. It’s based on the idea that all classes in a nation state share the same interests. Fascists merely calling out one or another sector of capitalists as “leeches” is not the same as having a socialist form of government or even ideology. The proof is in the pudding of what the Italian and German fascist states became.

Bale’s spin on sources

In the first note to the “How Black” article, Bale offers some further reading sources on the Left and anti-capitalist nature of fascist ideology: “All of these works rightly emphasize the left-wing and anti-capitalist features intrinsic to fascist ideology, especially in its earlier ‘movement phase’” (Hit List #1, p.47 asterisk note).

One book he recommends is Fascism: A Reader’s Guide, edited by Walter Laqueur. Bale specifically points to Zeev Sternhell as important for showing the anti-capitalist aspects of fascism. In this collection, Sternhell wrote: “Just as the corporative system worked to the advantage not of the prole­tariat, but of the employers, so the capitalist system was not destroyed but rather perpetuated and, finally, saved by fascism. ...It was this unitary life, the life of the nation, which led fascists to speak of an identity of interest uniting workers and employers” (Zeev Sternhell, Laqueur, 358).

This doesn’t read like a strong argument for the “intrinsic” left or anti-capitalist ideology in fascism. The relationship between employer and worker is one of exploiter and surplus value creator. Socialism does not seek unity between those groups. Capitalism was not destroyed, but perpetuated and saved by fascism, says Sternhell.

In the same collection, Juan L. Linz states that “Fascist ideologies and propagandists could combine an ambig­uous anti-bourgeois and anti-capitalist appeal with the commitment to respect for private property and the middle-class status order” (Juan L. Linz, Laqueur, p.19).

Again, this is really not making Bale’s implied case for fascism being left and anti-capitalist in essence. Linz describes “ambiguous” propaganda featuring anti-bourgeois/capitalist appeals, contrasted with the “commitment” to private property. Private property, another cornerstone of capitalist production, in which the means of production are not owned by the worker, but by capitalists. Not socialist.

Linz again:

The bourgeoisie is often perceived as uprooted compared to the pea­sants, the artisans, ‘the people.’ Frequently anti-capitalism is centred on finance capitalism, the banks and the stock exchange, whose international links make them suspicious. The strong anti-bourgeois character of some fascist movements is, particularly in Eastern Europe, linked with the cosmopolitan orientation of the national bourgeoisie, its cultural dependency on foreign centres setting their life style” (Linz, Laqueur, p.20).

Here, Linz is describing a kind of populist “anti-cosmopolitanism” and hatred of bankers that most would agree have little to do with anti-capitalism and are not intrinsic to genuine Left class-analysis either.
One more quote from the Laqueur collection is from Adrian Lyttelton. “It is true that a number of intellectuals, especially among the younger generation in the 1930’s were inspired by the illusion that fascism was a revolutionary and anti-capitalist force” (Adrian Lyttelton, Laqueur, p. 144).

The illusion.

Jeff Bale’s Trajectory

Maybe some will object that this was Bale writing in a casual setting, his own punk magazine, and it was 25 years ago! Let’s take a look at the intro to his latest serious academic book, coauthored with Tamir Bar-On Fighting The Last War: Confusion, Partisanship, and Alarmism in the Literature on the Radical Right. It was published in 2022.

Just as with Hit List # 1, the intro starts right out of the gate with gripes about the horribly politically correct (now “woke”) times we live in and how academia just can’t handle the truth, wisdom, and stellar research that Bale and his comrades produce: “These are, sadly, the prices that intellectual dissenters often pay in this toxic era of political correctness, ‘woke’ hysteria, growing censorship, and malicious witch-hunting” (Fighting, vii).

They even say they did not thank anyone by name in the front matter because they too might be punished, presumably by the woke police witch-hunter units of the academic elites. It’s very hard to express “old fashioned liberal” and or conservative ideas these days without some Marxist cop burning you at the stake.

I see Bale all over this intro but I’ll note “their” use of “scare quotes,” as if they were all powerful argument winners, comes off as lazy and utterly Right wing. “Islamophobia” means there is no big problem with anti-Muslim bigotry, the real problem is that the woke are not willing to be critical of Islamic extremism. “Antifa” means idiotic leftist protester or leftist duped by the globalists.

Let’s take apart a single sentence, the very first sentence of the introduction:
“According to many commentators in the mass media, pro-globalist politicians, ‘anti-fascist’ watchdog groups, and ‘progressive’ academics, the radical right is ‘on the march’ worldwide” (Fighting, ix).

My translation:

1. Pro-globalist. Bale often uses globalist to identify nefarious forces attacking sovereignty, dignity, humanity, free speech, borders, and identity. The term globalist is widely used as an anti-Semitic dog whistle by the kinds of people Bale constantly feels deeply defensive or in awe of, patriots, nationalists, the alt-Right, racialists, Intellectual Dark Web dummies, etc. The term sounds radical and perhaps class struggle based but is more likely to signify chauvinistic nationalism.

2. “Anti-fascist” is a term Bale loves to put in scare quotes to imply they’re not really against fascism (probably too stupid to know what it is) and are probably duped by globalists and the woke.

3. “Progressive” meaning DEI supporting Democratic Party elites who relish censoring anyone who dares question their hegemony/orthodoxy.

4. Radical Right is “on the march” in scare quotes reflects Bale’s argument that in fact the threat of the far Right is overstated by people who have a woke globalist agenda and who want to downplay the real threat, which is radical Islam.

The authors write that it’s actually the Left that is ever more secure and in control in the West: “Regardless of changing circumstances and the steady increase of ‘progressive’ hegemony in Western societies, this drumbeat of alarmism never seems to dissipate” (Fighting, x).

They also put “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” in scare quotes, claiming that Trump has never promoted such things!

Jeff Bale on Twitter

I don’t know if it’s by intent but Jeff Bale joined twitter after Elon Musk took over, ha ha. I’m sorry but I can just hear him thinking “Finally if’s a safe place for free speech!”

At any rate I want to show how Bale’s ideological view tends toward normalizing and soft peddling the far right and fascists as more “interesting” than inherently dangerous. Just as when he let his hair down in his Magazine 25 years ago, we can read a lot of what his politics actually are in his non-academic tweets.

Bale comments on anarcho capitalist Covid denier Jeffrey Tucker's tweet. Starting with this one because he identifies himself as the author of Fighting the Last War

Subtweeting support for the Great Replacement theory

Palin' around with J.D. Vance and Andy Ngo

Demanding harsh punishments for anti-genocide protesters. Making sure Andy Ngo is racist and xenophobic enough.

Jeff Bale is not a TERF. I'M KIDDING!!! He is a TERF.

Jeff Bale is not a duck. He just walks and quacks like one.

Jeff chillin' with Tim Pool laying out some deep "Alex Jones" vibes with a false flag theory.

Very not Right Wing Jeff Bale Great Replacement tweets.

Jeff subtweets another "fascism and elections expert" Dinesh D'Souza and offers a fair and balanced assessment of Trump's riot control methods.

Enough Bale tweets to choke a horse.

Comments

gamatiasz

2 weeks 6 days ago

Submitted by gamatiasz on June 23, 2024

Thanks for this. As someone who knew Bale in his MRR days I appreciate this devastating takedown of this fascist masquerading as an anti-fascist researcher.

Submitted by Comrade Motopu on June 25, 2024

gamatiasz wrote: Thanks for this. As someone who knew Bale in his MRR days I appreciate this devastating takedown of this fascist masquerading as an anti-fascist researcher.

I knew he rankled a lot of people in the punk scene but over the years I had seen him commenting on politics, or promoting views that seemed to be just plain vanilla hard Right, alt Right, and fascist friendly. I had always wondered why other extremism researchers still cited him without comment, praised him as important, and even communicated with him on social media as if it was just totally normal. I understand that one doesn't have to agree with a person's politics to find their research or scholarship valuable, but at a certain point, Bale's openly reactionary politics demand he gets closer scrutiny as a source.

Maybe people have already written about him and I'm just unaware but I was hoping people might acknowledge the problem with Bale.

One person I talk about in this article already responded to me that they liked it, and that they did not realize the extent of Bale's "descent."

I hope Bale sees this article too.

Comrade Motopu

1 week 2 days ago

Submitted by Comrade Motopu on July 3, 2024

Speaking of the Abraxas Circle. This is a snapshot from the new Luke Turner article. The Nina Power/DC Miller logs.