‘Me-ism and The Left’ : A response to Joshua Dabelstein

[This post is in response to Me-Ism Is Undoing The Left, Joshua Dabelstein, New Matilda, December 4, 2018 (‘A feelpinion has no place in a contest of ideas, writes Joshua Dabelstein’).]

In responding to Joshua Dabelstein’s article it’s a bit difficult to know where to start, or even to know whether doing so is at all useful. Probably not, but I’ve decided to anyways (I never learn).

As I understand it, the author’s basic argument is this:

There are two generations of leftist, old(er) and new(er). The new(er) generation is Bad because it’s characterised by moralism, confused thinking (lack of conceptual clarity) and the elevation of emotion over reason. It may also be termed the ‘soft-left’ (as opposed to the ‘hard-left’), “[a]nd of all the arguments that the left has with itself, it is the soft-left’s immature replacement of political philosophy with moralism that has caused a rift the likes of which people like Jordan Peterson have been belched from”. Peterson, in other words, is popular because he directly attacks the moralism of the ‘soft-left’. The author also complains about the swiftness with which members of the ‘soft-left’ experience ‘offence’, and how easily it’s manipulated by these mushy-brained folks in order to avert rational discussion of their (flawed) political positions. Hyper-individualism is to blame for this predicament, according to the author, and this hyper-individualism is in turn a product of our neo-liberal age: “the left I fell for argued about praxis, not about whether or not dreadlocks are racist”.

What I reckon:

The article reads more like a complaint than an analysis, and the underlying thrust of the message it sends to “say, a young any-gendered feminist reactionary” could be neatly summarised as: ‘harden the f*ck up’. In fairness to the author, wanting to tell someone else to HTFU is almost certainly a sentiment everyone’s felt about someone at some point or other, but in this context, at least, it seems unlikely to generate much interest in discussion or debate. (Then again, I am writing this reply, so maybe it’s not a bad move after all.)

Beyond that, I don’t reckon the employment of a generational divide is useful. Certainly, I’m wary of its use in many contexts, but to the extent that the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that the author identifies as being problematic are worth analysing, I suspect you’d find them distributed among all ages and generations. In which case, maybe it would be better to counter moralism, poor argumentation and emotional immaturity by explicit reference to these faults, rather than to the ages of those allegedly guilty of committing them?

Secondly, of course people generally finds others’ moral posturing objectionable; and yes, humility is generally preferable to hubris. But if, for the sake of argument, there is indeed a plague of “feminist reactionary” yoof who, for example, use Identity Politics in order to avoid taking responsibility for their thoughts and actions — especially if, as a result, they make the left look bad — it would be sensible to name such individuals, or at least to identify the political projects with which such individuals are associated. Who, exactly, populates the “swathe of self-important self-proclaimed ‘left-wing’ ninnies giving the rest of us a bad name”? The closest the author comes to answering this question is by way of reference to an imaginary conversation with “a young any-gendered feminist reactionary”, a fictitious entity who (correctly) bemoans patriarchy but then (wrongly) uses its existence as a poor excuse for failing to understand Berlin’s 1958 essay on ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ — and who compounds the offence by resisting attempts by a man in their imaginary study group to explain the distinction by simply categorising him as a ‘mansplainer’.

Now, if an event such as this did take place, it wouldn’t be too difficult to become irritated at this fictitious person’s attempt to dodge responsibility for their incomprehension, and to baulk at their enlisting patriarchy in their defence. By the same token, while the existence of patronising men is indeed a thing, the example is relatively trivial, and it would be incorrect to assume that feminist critiques of patriarchy can be reduced to, say, micro-policing of speech. Further, to do so is to risk dismissing a very substantial, theoretically-sophisticated, and politically-relevant body of work. I’d suggest that engaging with this critique in good faith is both more urgent and requires a bit more effort.

We live in an age where feeling offended is empowering. The assertion of disempowerment is an easy and often great way to reclaim power. But if we aren’t careful of how, when, why and with whom we are doing this, we run the risk of becoming a complete laughing stock.

Do we live in an age where (merely) feeling offended is empowering? I dunno. I ask myself: ‘Am I empowered when I feel offended?’ (Or do I merely feel empowered when I feel offended?!) For what it’s worth, it seems to me that claiming ‘power proceeds from feeling offended’ is to have things in reverse order; that is, it could also be reasonably claimed that it’s those in or with power who are most able to express their feelings of offence. And the biggest, best-paid whiners aren’t to be found in a University tutorial, but rather occupying prominent positions in the culture and media industries.

But maybe this argument could be rendered differently. After all, how does some person (or community, or collectivity, or class), both assert their disempowered status while also reclaiming power? And if there are other ways of reclaiming power, what makes this one so “easy and often great”?

I suppose one could argue that ‘assertions of disempowerment’ could also be protestations at disempowerment; ones which, through their historical unfolding, make the powerless powerful. Legend has it that the process by which this occurs lies at the centre of left theory and practice — well, it did, before the identity politicians went and mucked it all up with their liberalism. In which context, the breezy dismissal of ‘identity politics’ – or rather, its invocation as something understood to be inherently objectionable from a left perspective – is I think unfair. Granted, many online discussions of the topic are dreadful, but there exists other possibilities. One is that, for the left, identity and politics is not a straightforward relationship, and it’s the politics of identity, rather than ‘identity politics’, that matter, and it’s the ways in which these identities are shaped — typically, in the interests of some dominant group — that those on the left seek (or at least claim to want) to transform in the interests of the oppressed. [1]

Feelpinions

‘Feelpinions’, ‘identity politics’, ‘professional victimhood’, ‘moralistic white-knighting’, ‘mansplaining’, ‘snowflakes’: all terms familiar to anyone who’s read a complaint like this and, for what it’s worth, elements that typically constitute the muck out of which the AltRight, in particular, claim this strawperson is being created. Aside from generating derision, such terms and concepts also perform another political function: obscuring the legitimate grievances of marginalised groups and rendering them fit only for contempt and dismissal. From a ‘left’ perspective, this is hardly an ideal situation, and I’d suggest it’s one that calls for some more thorough — and critical — examination. Further, the characterisation of ‘identity politics’ as being merely a “neoliberal pest; a hallmark of cultural capitalism, and a testament to … infectious ME-ism” is inadequate (to put it mildly).

I may be reading into it, but I think there’s a certain anxiety present in the text, and almost certainly a kind of anger and frustration, one presumably related to the relative failure of the left – or, moreover, the ‘hard’ left – to praxis their way into power. This is understandable. In 2018, the species as a whole is on the verge of complete catastrophe, and only a radical transformation in human relations — and the relations of humanity with non-human nature — will provide the necessary and, hopefully, sufficient conditions to make it possible to avert total disaster. To put it another way: ‘socialism or barbarism’ — now more than ever. [2]

I understand (or think I do), some of the justifiable objections to narcissism, of the too-easy avoidance of difficult questions – for example, those which require and may even prompt serious reconsideration of previously-held positions – and the countless other faults we all encounter and embody to a greater or lesser extent. But while the proposition that capitalist social relations profoundly affect contemporary culture and society; individual and group psychology; social expectations, norms and customs, and do so in a way that (re)produces the human being as a calculating, self-interested and autonomous agent let loose in a world of labour and commodities may be sound, it’s not the fault of that annoying person in your tutorial if it is. And neither is the left’s failure to dismantle this world and to build a new and better one in its place.

Jordan Peterson

And of all the arguments that the left has with itself, it is the soft-left’s immature replacement of political philosophy with moralism that has caused a rift the likes of which people like Jordan Peterson have been belched from.

I’m not sure I understand this passage. If it’s a fact that the ‘soft-left’ has replaced political philosophy with moralism — and this in turn has caused a ‘rift’ out of which Jordan Peterson has emerged — how is this fact an example of an argument that the left has with itself? That doesn’t make sense. (As I understand it, an example of an argument that ‘the left has with itself’ might be ‘Reform or revolution?’, or ‘Who should the left vote for?’.) Maybe what the author is trying to say is that the moralism of the ‘soft-left’ produced Jordan Peterson, and until the soft left grows up and begins practicing political philosophy, rather than engaging in moral condemnation, the left as a whole will continue to be cursed by the Jordan Petersons of this world. This line of argument contains more than a trace of similar claims made by Angela Nagle in Kill All Normies, a slight text which has had an over-sized impact upon these sorts of discussions (and whose author has since gone on to write another contentious text making The Left Case Against Open Borderssee also Brianna Rennix & Nathan J. Robinson’s response — and to score an appearance on Tucker Carlson).

For what it’s worth, while ‘snowflakes’ presumably took ‘offence’ at his performances, there were to my knowledge no protests during the course of Peterson’s tour Down Under earlier this year. At about the same time, however, some solid critiques of his work were being published (see, for example: Houman Barekat; Nathan J Robinson; Pankaj Mishra). Suffice it to say that Peterson, nothing if not a moralist, blames ‘Marxism’ for producing ‘identity politics’, and in doing so demonstrates little understanding of either.

To conclude, it’s certainly true that moralism is no substitute for political critique, overly-earnest students can be annoying, and the left cannot be reduced to liberalism. But it’s also the case that, whatever cultural shifts may (or may not) be occurring on Australian campuses and among students in particular, complaints about their annoying habits aren’t sufficient to explain the success or failure of the left as a whole, to understand the relationship between historical and contemporary left movements, or to explain the role of that dastardly beast ‘identity politics’ in their numerous interactions.

See also : Digital Archive: What Is Identity Politics? (A collection of essays, 1986–2016) | Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis, Nancy Fraser, Verso (2013) | ‘Identity Politics and the Left’, Eric Hobsawm, Institute of Education, London (May 2, 1996).

[1] Note that ‘the left’ and ‘the oppressed’ are not coterminous or equivalent terms; also that like, say, liberalism and leftism, some people can and do confuse one for the other. As to who or what is most responsible for this confusion, I’d argue that this lies at the feet of dominant social institutions, not impressionable University students.

[2] Whether or not the left, or the left of the left, is actually capable of undertaking such a task is an open question, and the news on that front may be Good or it may be Bad. As it stands, I’m unconvinced … but then the left can and does refer to a multiplicity of political projects to which I’m more-or-less inclined. If I choose a political identity it’s usually ‘anarchist’, and the relationship of anarchism (and anarchists) to the left as a whole is pretty mixed (to say the least). But there are self-identified communists, socialists, Marxists, social democrats and leftists from a variety of other tendencies whose lives and work I’ve found insightful, inspiring and yes, moving. That fact doesn’t really alter my basic political perspective very much (or my own situatedness).

On Right-Wing Trolls Touring Australia in 2018

Update (December 3, 2018) : Hope Not Hate provide a potted summary of Milo Yiannopoulos’ financial and legal situation in Milo Yiannopoulos’ debt crisis (December 2, 2018).

In so many ways, Milo Yiannopoulos is unremarkable. He is just one of a long line of conservative grifters making hay in Australia. ~ Richard Cooke, Australia’s welcome mat for right-wing trolls, The Saturday Paper, October 21, 2017.

See also : Age-old hate, The Monthly, July 2017 | Alt wrong, The Monthly, April 2017.

Gavin McInnes : CANCELLED

This week, the Australian Minister for Immigration, David Coleman, decided to refuse to issue a visa to Gavin McInnes on the basis of his ‘bad’ character. His decision follows closely upon the tabling of a petition to the Australian Parliament with over 80,000 signatures calling upon the Minister to do just that (and — no doubt coincidentally — a mere week after the Victorian Liberals got trounced in the state election after running a race-baiting law-and-order campaign).

See : Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied visa to tour Australia with ‘The Deplorables’, Matthew Doran, ABC, November 30, 2018 | Australia rejects far-right Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes’ visa application, Riley Morgan, SBS, November 31, 2018 | Founder of US far-right group denied Australian visa: ABC report, Al Jazeera, November 31, 2018 | Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denied entry to Australia for ‘Deplorables’ speaking tour, Travis Gettys, Raw Story, November 30, 2018.

As for the Proud Boys, in addition to having most if not all of their Facebook pages closed, yesterday it was announced NYPD Arrests Two More Proud Boys As Hate Group Grapples With ‘Cuckery’ (Jake Offenhartz, Gothamist, November 30, 2018). See also : Scary Clowns, Brendan O’Connor, The Baffler, November 21, 2018 ~and~ follow AntiFash Gordon and Rose City Antifa for d0xx.

Milo Yiannopoulos ~versus~ AE Media

For those of you coming in late, back in April ‘Future Now’ (AKA Queensland businessmen Ben & Dan Spiller) announced that Milo Yiannopoulos and Gavin McInnes would be touring the country in May, accompanied by serial pest Neil Erikson (and possibly disgraced Sky News presenter Ross Cameron). Almost immediately upon it being announced the tour collapsed in a heap.

Undeterred, in September ‘Future Now Australia’ announced that they would be touring Fraser ‘Final Solution’ Anning, Ann Coulter, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’) and Milo Yiannopoulos in November/December. That, too, collapsed in a heap, with Yaxley-Lennon withdrawing and the tour being promoted as ‘Ann & Milo’. Not long after, the organisers announced that this tour too was cancelled, and ticket-holders would instead be issued tickets to see Gavin McInnes. That tour, organised by Damien Costas (Penthouse Australia), would later add Yaxley-Lennon to the bill. Intended to kick-off in December, the tour has now been delayed until February 2019, will not feature McInnes and — given his extensive criminal and political record of racist agitation — there’s a serious question mark hanging over the likelihood of Yaxley-Lennon being admitted to the country.

In any case, there’s no love lost between ‘Future Now/Australia’ — now re-badged as ‘AE Media’ — and Milo Yiannopoulos, which has come to a head in the last few days with d0x being released by Erikson which purport to detail financial shenanigans by Milo. One is titled Milo-Event-Facts-Press-Version and the other Dan-helping-milo-with-bills-email-chain-PRESS-1. For his part, Yiannopoulos published a YouTube video (streamed live on November 28, 2018) and issued a statement:

MILO JOINS PENTHOUSE AUSTRALIA’S “THE DEPLORABLES” TOUR WITH GAVIN AND TOMMY

Sydney, Australia.— Milo Yiannopoulos is joining Penthouse Australia’s “The Deplorables” Tour, alongside Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson, following the cancellation of his previously slated tour in December by original promoters AE Media.

Ticket-holders for the original “Milo and Ann” tour will have their tickets honored and they will see Milo, Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson live in Australia in February 2019. Ticket-holders will be contacted via email by Penthouse in the coming days.

Damien Costas, publisher of Penthouse Australia, said: “Milo’s record-breaking Australia tour remains the standard by which conservative speaking tours are judged. And now we’re adding him to an already brilliant line-up. The three of them together promise an absolutely spectacular show—not to mention terrific value for money.”

Yiannopoulos said: “I’m delighted to be rejoining Penthouse for another tour in Australia in 2019, after my sellout runaway success with them last time. I’d like to thank Penthouse for honoring the tickets sold under my previous promoter, who unfortunately could not meet their financial or logistical obligations. I’m delighted my fans will not lose out and can’t wait to be back in Australia.”

Yiannopoulos has delayed the release of his forthcoming book, Australia, You’re My Only Hope!, to coincide with the rescheduled Deplorables tour. The book will now be released in February 2019. VIP ticket holders will receive a free signed copy.

“For those of you who want to know what went down with my last promoters, well. It’s an ongoing drama, and I need your help,” Milo added. “I’ll be doing a stream today, November 28, for fans, live on YouTube. Look out for notices on Facebook and Instagram for a link to the stream.”

The Deplorables Tour Enquiries: [email protected]

Ticket-holders seeking refunds from the previous promoter should contact: Daniel Spiller, Seagate Services Pty Ltd, [email protected] and Benjamin Spiller, Seagate Services Pty Ltd, [email protected]

*Presumably, Milo didn’t get the memo that Gavin won’t be coming.

In the video which accompanies the statement, Yiannopoulos variously describes AE Media and the Spiller brothers as inter alia ‘fraudulent’, ‘insane’, ‘incompetent’, ‘liars’ and ‘cunts’. For their part, the Spillers have contracted the services of fellow Queenslanders Rose Litigation in order to sue Yiannopoulos for monies allegedly owed them. The video also contains some discussion around Australia and the upcoming publication of his book, Australia, You’re My Only Hope!. Note that the conception of Australia as ‘The Last Great (White) Hope’ has been a trope among White nationalists for quite some time.

Be that as it may, Yiannopoulos, while bemoaning the awful sacrifices he’s made in order to write the book, also expresses concern that it might contravene Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Given that the racist commentary he provided on his December 2017 tour (organised by Costas/Penthouse) triggered no such prosecution; that his fanbase includes such luminaries as Richard Wolstencroft and Kate Langbroek and Janet Albrechtsen (an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation); that a number of the venues at which he performed both celebrate their Indigenous art collections while profiting handsomely from Milo’s anti-Indigenous hate-speech; that, in October, Indigenous Affairs minister Nigel Scullion was one of the 23 members of government who voted to support Pauline Hanson’s motion decrying ‘anti-white racism’; and given that the (to-date unsuccessful) campaign to amend or indeed scrap altogether Section 18C has won broad support from Tories, it may be that his angst is unfounded.

More broadly, Yiannopoulos notes that while anti-fascists in the US have had some degree of success in de-platforming and marginalising him, Australia is a very ‘safe space’. Thus (52:00), ‘I’m kind of mainstream in Australia. You know, I’m kind of like a ‘normal’ conservative in Australia … if you tone down the language a little bit, I’m kind of like safe for public consumption in Australia. I’m just worried about the book …’. Further (2:24:36), ‘I only engage with you because you were going to pay me a shit-tonne of money, and I was going to have fun in Australia … Australia? I like the country, but I was, you know, I’m fundamentally touring because I like the country and because I’m very popular there, and it pays a lot.’ Finally, with regards the Spiller brothers, his invitation (2:07:40) to examine their correspondence is introduced by way of stating ‘Let’s just have a quick window into the insane world of the Spiller brothers.’

Yiannopoulos on Australian Indigenous life, art and culture

The following is an extract from Yiannopoulos’s December 2017 speech at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre:

Because newsflash [Aboriginal art] really is shit … Now Australians in this sort of bizarre form of middle-class guilt have decided to pay obeisance to a culture that failed to invent the wheel — and whose signature musical achievement is a big stick … The ugly truth that they don’t want you to say out loud is that history has winners and losers. The progressive left wants to turn Western countries into the only developed civilisations in the history of human society that shit on their own accomplishments in favour of vastly inferior civilisations for no apparent reason. Hence we’re confronted with the ugly spectacle of your own nation and ‘welcome to country’ … and the desperate, pathetic attempts to pretend that didgeridoos represent a beautiful and historic cultural achievement, and not a punchline to a joke. Now you might not know this, but there are absolutely no Aboriginal people left alive in Australia — the last ones died in the ’60s and ’70s, and since then George Soros has been shipping over Black Lives Matter activists, giving them tubs of white-out, and telling them to just daub themselves and make all the White people feel bad. Your politicians in a symbol of how intelligent they are have been falling for it for half-a-century.

Milo Yiannopoulos ~versus~ Axiomatic Events

The other bit-player in the Australian foreign troll circuit is ‘Axiomatic Events’. As Axiomatic Events, Dave Pellowe and Luke Chandler toured Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern in July. They also hired neo-Nazi grouplet ‘The Lads Society’ to provide security for the tour. Of the tour, Yiannopoulos notes (54:58) that ‘Their promoters really fucked them … [Axiomatic Events is an] equally amateurish, disastrous outfit… I don’t even know if they’ve [Molyneux and Southern] been paid yet, their audiences were tiny …’.

See also : Dave Pellowe & Axiomatic Events ~versus~ Daniel Spiller & Future Now +++ (June 6, 2018) | Stefan Molyneux & Lauren Southern’s hate-speech tour kicks off in Cairns (with a little help from the AFL) (July 16, 2018) | Stefan Molyneux & Lauren Southern @ La Mirage, Somerton : Friday, July 20, 2018 (July 20, 2018).

Kermit The Flog

Jordan Peterson’s March 2018 tour was organised by ‘True Arrow Events’ (Sam McClelland); his upcoming 2019 tour by TEG Dainty & Nice Events.

Saturday, February 9 : Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Riverside Theatre
Monday, February 11 : Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre
Wednesday, February 13 : Plenary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Friday, February 15 : Llewellyn Hall, Canberra
Saturday, February 16 : Sydney Opera House
Sunday, February 17 : Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Postmodernism Did Not Take Place: On Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Shuja Haider, Viewpoint, January 23, 2018 (‘A specter is haunting North America — the specter of postmodernism. Or at least, that’s what Jordan Peterson would have you believe. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has entered into an unholy alliance with all the powers of the alt-right to exorcise this specter. Though he calls himself a “British classical liberal,” Peterson’s appeal feeds into the most reactionary tendencies in contemporary politics’). See also : A Messiah-cum-Surrogate-Dad for Gormless Dimwits: On Jordan B. Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”, Houman Barekat, LA Review of Books, March 11, 2018 | The Intellectual We Deserve, Nathan J Robinson, Current Affairs, March 14, 2018 | Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism, Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books, March 19, 2018.

antifa notes (march 21, 2018) : nazis, patriots, drama, murder … the usual

Yeesh: talk about drama.

Party for Freedom /// Neil Erikson

Nick Folkes’ micro-‘Party for Freedom’ (PFF) has undergone some settling of contents over the course of the last few months. Gone is George Jameson and Penny Louise/Tridgell, along with a number of PFF placards, which George has apparently refused to return to Nick. The placards made a brief appearance at a ‘True Blue Crew’ (TBC) anti-Muslim rally in Belmont on February 24. (Note that, in reality, it appears as though there is no application before the local council for the construction of a new mosque in the area.) Incensed by this traitorous act, Nick has been going off on Facebook, taking aim not only at George and Penny but also the TBC (in both NSW and VIC), the Australia First Party, its leader Dr Jim Saleam (who he accuses of playing spin-the-bottle), and one of Jim’s QLD-based flunkeys, Jim Perren (who notably helped organise the United Patriot Front’s (UPF’s) doomed party launch in Toowoomba in February 2016 — describing it as ‘a Nuremberg rally minus the swastikas’). Oh, he also accused Melbourne local Paul ‘Guru’ Franzi of drug abuse(!), and more besides. Further, Nick’s sidekick Toby Cook has recently gone full Nazi, and the day after the TBC rally in February attended Jura Books, where he and two others — Matt Lowe and Christopher Grantham — proceeded to make arses of themselves. To top it all off, Nick invited valour thief and serial pest Ralph Cerminara to act as mediator between the TBC methgoblins and whatever remains of the PFF in Sydney in order to arrange the return of the preciousss to Nick.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In any event, here’s a sampling of the sparkling prose coming from the patriotik camp:













Last week, serial pest Neil Erikson was in court again, on this occasion to be sentenced for contempt: see : Judge scolds far-right activist Neil Erikson as ‘childish’ for wearing uniform to court, Karen Percy, March 13, 2018 | You’re talking ‘rubbish’, judge tells far-right activist Neil Erikson, The Age (AAP), March 13, 2018. While sentencing has been reserved, Neil and his dickhead mates — Garry Hume, Ricky/Rikki Turner and Richard Whelan — are due back in court in June to face charges of riot, affray, assault etc arising from the MILO stoopid of last year.

Oh, Neil also acted stoopid outside Northcote Town Hall on election day in Batman and in the company of two other men later stalked Greens leader Samantha Ratnam.

True Blue Crew

Notwithstanding the angwy words with Folkes and Freedom, the TBC is making money thru selling memberships and merchandise — seemingly, with a plan to open a gym in Melton along the lines of their kameraden ‘The Lads Society’ in Cheltenham. Last month, the TBC’s number one fan, Phill Galea, was declared fit to stand trial for alleged terrorisms:

Anti-Islam extremist Phillip Galea to stand trial on alleged bomb plot
Tessa Akerman
The Australian
February 6, 2018

An anti-Islam extremist accused of plotting bomb attacks has been ruled fit to stand trial by the Victorian Supreme Court.

Phillip Galea is charged with collecting or making documents to prepare for terrorist acts between 2015 and 2016.

Police allege Mr Galea talked about bombing the headquarters of Melbourne’s anarchists.

Mr Galea is currently represented by Legal Aid after he sacked his first law firm, which commissioned a psychiatric report that found he was unfit to stand trial.

Barrister Tim Marsh today told the Supreme Court two subsequent psychiatric reports found his client able to explain the role of judge and jury and the difference between pleas.

Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said it appeared as though the author of the first report was trying to determine Mr Galea’s beliefs and whether they were “radical”.

The Magistrates Court has previously heard Mr Galea has links to anti-Islam groups and had allegedly made an order for potassium nitrate, which can be used to manufacture explosives.

Mr Marsh this morning said the additional reports covered whether Mr Galea would be able to participate in a trial, and he and the commonwealth prosecution were in agreement that Mr Galea was fit to stand trial.

Justice Hollingworth remitted the case back to the Magistrates Court, where Mr Galea’s case is listed for committal in April.

Otherwise, the methgoblins cancelled a proposed meeting in Tarneit to organise anti-African vigilantes, but on the plus side have declared that, in-between court dates, they’ll be having another flagwit parade in June in Melbourne (see : June 26, 2016 : True Blue Crew & Co ~versus~ Melbourne and Australian Pride /// Flagwit Rally, June 25, 2017 : Recap), and will be joined by dozens of racist gronks in Sydney and elsewhere.

Aryan Nations /// Antipodean Resistance

In Perth, Aryan Nations members Robert Wayne Edhouse and Melony Attwood were convicted of murdering Attwood’s partner, Alan Taylor, seemingly in order to obtain his life insurance. See : Robert Edhouse and Melony Attwood convicted of murder in Nazi ‘death squad’ killing of Alan Taylor, Tim Clarke, The West Australian, March 12, 2018 | Perth murder scene reveals desperate attempts to conceal what really happened, Phil Hickey, WA Today, March 13, 2018 | Melony Attwood made distressed triple-0 call over murder with Aryan Nations boyfriend, Joanna Menagh, ABC, March 15, 2018.

While this may suggest the end of Aryan Nations in Perth, at least some of the handful of boneheads associated with the brand have instead decided to re-badge as ‘Combat 18’. Oh, I should also add that the site of the murder was also the site of Blair Cottrell’s announcement in November 2015 that he would be forming a political party (‘Fortitude’); he and other members of the UPF Melbourne having been guests of the Aryan Nations’ murderers for that weekend’s ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally.

As for Antipodean Resistance, they’ve been carrying on chucking up posters and going for walks and doing some other stuff. Their kameraden in the US (Atomwaffen) and the UK (National Action) have also been making headlines, albeit for killing people and doing terrorisms. VICE UK has recently published a series of articles on the far-right under the collective title of ‘Hate Island’; it includes one examining ironmarch dot org, a/k/a ‘The Obscure Neo-Nazi Forum Linked to a Wave of Terror’ (James Poulter, March 12, 2018):

Ironmarch.org was not the kind of website to hang out on if you knew what was good for you. A swastika-plastered forum which took its users on a shared journey of extreme radicalisation, it kickstarted an international wave of Nazi terror.

Users of Ironmarch.org have attempted a mall shooting; murdered two young men; attempted to hack a Sikh dentist to death with a machete; and have been found to be in possession of illegal weapons and materials to make bombs, among other crimes. While these acts of violence mostly took place in North America, the forum had plenty of fans in the UK.

One of Ironmarch’s administrators founded the banned British Nazi terror group National Action (NA), while an infographic produced by the site lists NA among its “affiliated groups”, under the heading “Ironmarch members in the global fascist struggle”.

Curiously, along with National Action (banned by the UK government as a ‘terrorist’ organisation), Atomwaffen and Skydas (Lithuania), Antipodean Resistance is the only other group listed as an affiliate of IronMarch.

Meanwhile, antifa in Eugene, Oregon have been doing a bit of digging into Atomwaffen: Mr. and Mrs. Maci: The Atomwaffen Division Implodes (March 8, 2018).

See also : YouTube Belatedly Bans Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen, Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo, March 2, 2018 | Read the Chilling Texts of Nazis Celebrating the Murder of a Jewish Teen, A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston and Jake Hanrahan, Mother Jones, March 1, 2018 (‘When Samuel Woodward was charged with killing Blaze Bernstein last month, other Atomwaffen members cheered the death’).

Jordan Peterson

Kermit The Flog was in town recently. The following reviewers give his latest tome on 12 Rules For Life Big Ups:

Postmodernism Did Not Take Place: On Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Shuja Haider, Viewpoint, January 23, 2018 | A Messiah-cum-Surrogate-Dad for Gormless Dimwits: On Jordan B. Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”, Houman Barekat, LA Review of Books, March 11, 2018 | The Intellectual We Deserve, Nathan J Robinson, Current Affairs, March 14, 2018 | Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism, Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books, March 19, 2018.

*US propagandist Daniel Pipes was also recently in the cuntry: see : Daniel Pipes Comes to Melbourne: Are Australian Muslims Right to be Outraged?, Chloe Patton, ABC Religion and Ethics, March 8, 2018.

Mr Potato Head

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has extended the white hand of friendship to white farmers in South Africa and informed them that STRAYA has indeed ‘boundless plains to share’ (with white men). According to Jason Wilson, Peter Dutton’s offer to white South African farmers started on the far right (The Guardian, March 16, 2018) — which seems about right. According to Jon Piccini, Peter Dutton’s ‘fast track’ for white South African farmers is a throwback to a long, racist history (The Conversation, March 19, 2018) … which again, seems about reich. (See also : Drawing The Global Colour Line, Henry Reynolds, Marilyn Lake, Melbourne University Press, 2008.)

Dutton’s kamerad, the Very Ethical Jim Molan, was angwy and upset (presumably) when Little Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were jailed for hate crimes a few weeks ago; worse yet, the hate criminals had their Facebook page deleted. Oh, and Golding was attacked in prison and had his nose broken last week.

See also : Debunking a Myth: The Irish Were Not Slaves Too, Liam Stack, The New York Times, March 17, 2017.

terrorisms

In Germany, a number of neo-Nazis have been jailed for attacks upon refugees: see : Germany: Far-right ‘terrorists’ jailed for attacks on refugees, Al Jazeera, March 8, 2018 (‘Dresden’s high court sentences seven members of the Freital Group to between five and 10 years for attempted murder’).

In Greece, alleged members of neo-Nazi group ‘Combat 18’ got arrest: see : Greek counter-terrorism squad arrests five suspected of neo-Nazi group involvement, Neos Kosmos, March 7, 2018 (‘The men are alleged members of far-right criminal group, Combat 18, and suspected of involvement in a series of arson attacks and explosions’).

anTEEfa

Arsenal Pulp Press in Canuckistan is publishing a cartoon guide: The Antifa Comic Book: 100 Years of Fascism and Antifa Movements Around the World by Gord Hill.

In Russia, police in St Petersburg have arrested a man allegedly responsible for organising the murder of antifascist Timur Kacharava in 2005 (St. Petersburg: Police arrests man behind antifa activist Timur Kacharava’s assassination, Crime Russia, February 23, 2018). Elsewhere, Russian authorities have been keeping busy repressing anarchists and anti-fascists; a useful summary of recent bastardy is available via avtonom dot org: Review of repressions against anarchists in Russia – 2017 and first months of 2018. In Sydney on the weekend, local anti-fascists held a smol rally outside the Russian consulate in solidarity with compañerxs in Russia.

Finally, two four recent articles examine the impact anti-fascist action has had on fascist organising in the US: Is Antifa Counterproductive? White Nationalist Richard Spencer Would Beg to Differ., Natasha Lennard, The Intercept, March 17, 2018 | The alt-right is in decline. Has antifascist activism worked?, Jason Wilson, The Guardian, March 18, 2018 | How Antifa uses no-platforming successfully to fight white supremacy, David Griscom, New Statesman, March 19, 2018 | Antifa Has Richard Spencer on the Run. Does That Vindicate Its Tactics?, Joshua Holland, The Nation, March 22, 2018 (‘There’s good reason to believe that antifa’s success has come despite violent tactics, not because of them’).

Speaking of which …

Heimbach, Spencer, & The Yanqui AltReich

Recently, in Michigan, both Richard Spencer and Matt Heimbach had A Very Bad Time: see : After Fights And Arrests, Richard Spencer Speaks To Tiny Crowd At Michigan State, Christopher Mathias, Huffington Post, March 6, 2018 (‘Spencer and his white supremacist buddies had a miserable two days in Michigan. Everywhere they went, anti-fascist protesters were waiting’). Worse was to come for Heimbach, after he was caught fucking his father-in-law’s (Matt Parrott’s) wife; Parrott also being the other key leader of the neo-Nazi groupuscule ‘Traditionalist Worker Party’. See : How a white nationalist’s family came to blows over a trailer tryst, Marwa Eltagouri and Avi Selk, The Washington Post, March 14, 2018 | Neo-Nazi Group Implodes Over Love Triangle Turned Trailer Brawl, Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast, March 14, 2018 (‘Matthew Heimbach and his spokesman came to blows after Heimbach was caught sleeping with the spokesman’s wife. What’s more, Heimbach is married to the spokesman’s stepdaughter’).

M A S T E R R A C E.

See also : Alex Jones is a menace to society. I’m suing him., Brennan Gilmore, The Washington Post, March 14, 2018.