Monday, 11 October 2010

Peter Webb: Statement on Neo-Folk and Post-Industrial Music

Peter Webb has made this statement in response to criticisms made on this blog and elsewhere (presumably Stewart Home's site). It is good to see him start to clarify his position at last since, even if unintentional, the absence of criticism in his book surely lent some credibility to the guilty parties. I'm happy to be able to post his statement here on his behalf as the basis for further discussion and clarification. This statement has also been published on the ICRN blog by Alexei Monroe - Strelnikov, 11/10/10



Boyd Rice, Dave Tibet, Tony Wakeford,
Doug Pearce and Michael Moynihan
I have been alerted to the contents of this blog Who Makes the Nazis? and one other website and feel that I have to respond to the criticism and confusion that seems to link my work to some kind of support or covert agreement with some of the ideas that are discussed here in the Fascist, Conservative Revolutionary or Traditionalist sphere. I firstly want to make clear that my work in Exploring the Networked Worlds of Popular Music (2007) is partial and a discussion and description of some elements of the Neo Folk/post-industrial music scene in amongst chapters on hip-hop, Bristol’s music culture, the Independent music production of Crass and a variety of house music labels and musicians dealing with each other, writing credits and the wider music industry. Therefore it is not exhaustive or comprehensive and does not fulfill the remit of discussing the ideological/political implications of this scene (Webb, p105) in much detail, this is something I had always intended to fulfill in other pieces of work. Sites like Who Makes the Nazis? are one set of views on the political implications of this scene and whilst I feel my work and reputation are being crudely represented within them they do have a place in presenting information on this scene. My position politically is one of opposition to many of the political/ideological elements of this scene and below I present some comments on that.

Christopher Browning in his book Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992) describes the events that led to the deaths and deportations of tens of thousands of Jews from Poland in 1942. The focus of the book is on the German order police (Ordnungspolizei), battalions of drafted middle-aged reservists who couldn’t fight on the frontline and who were used to police Polish cities and also to round up and kill Jews en masse. This group who had no particular affiliation with Nazism (but had nationalist ideas) were attached to units led by SS men. The executions were carried out by large groups of officers, mainly by shooting their Jewish victims one by one in the neck after they had been forced to lie down in forest areas used for the killings. Browning tries to examine how this group of men who came from ordinary backgrounds and jobs had been turned into mass executioners able to kill tens of thousand of Jews in cold blood day after day whilst in Poland. His explanation suggests that a combination of Nazi Ideology, peer pressure, the situation of the war (even though these individuals had not experienced any fighting before their part in the killings), conformity and indoctrination were responsible. Only a minority refused to take part in the acts and as they developed they became routine and were even joked about. The point of Browning’s book, if we accept its thesis, is that ordinary men and women can become detached killers and brutal racists through a mixture of ideological leadership (in this case from those who had gone through SS training) and the power of group conformity. The reason I discuss this is that, like Stanley Milgram’s obedience and authority experiments or Phillip Zimbardo’s Prison experiment, Browning alerts us to the importance of group dynamics and conformity or obedience to a dominant set of ideas or norms that are pushed to the foreground in a group (either politically, socially or culturally) and often followed uncritically and obediently by the majority of the social group involved.

Browning’s work is useful here as it gives an insight into how strong ideological elements within a social grouping can heavily influence the way that grouping continues to act and think. Even though there is clearly no direct comparison to the events that Browning describes and a small music scene (Neo Folk/ post industrial), the idea of dominant figures in a social situation gaining peoples obedience and shaping their actions through ideological hegemony is important for this discussion. Both situations, do however, contain ideological positions that foreground elitism and disgust, demonization and contempt for an 'other' group (e.g. Jews, gypsies, the ignorant mass population). The chapter I wrote describes elements of this milieu as accounted for by some of its members and through some of my engagement with it over a number of years; it focused particularly on the three musicians of the band Death In June and their various musical projects since two of them (Tony Wakeford and Patrick Leagas) left and Douglas Pearce continued the project to the present day. The chapter does not delve consistently into the various ideological elements of the scene and I suggested that it was beyond the remit of this particular piece of work as I think it would require a book or series of articles in their own right to really discuss the full extent of the ideologies that are referenced by this milieu. That said however it is an omission that needs rectifying. I wish to state clearly that within the milieu there is a clear timeline that runs from the incarnation of Death In June through to the current output of bands like Von Thronstahl, Allerseelen, Orplid, Blood Axis etc that leads its audience to look at thinkers from the three ideological and philosophical areas previously mentioned i.e. Fascism, Revolutionary Conservatism and Traditionalism. The artists themselves have clearly explored and would subscribe in some cases to elements of the worldview of Julius Evola, Savitri Devi, Ernst Junger, Moeller Van Den Bruck, Armin Mohler, Oswald Spengler, Rene Guenon, Francis Parker Yockey, The Strasser brothers and particularly in the present configuration of the milieu, the European New Right and the work of Alain De Benoist and associated thinkers around him.

Douglas Pearce stated in an interview with Zillo magazine (1992) that:

“At the start of the eighties Tony and I were involved in radical left politics and beneath it history students. In search of a political view for the future we came across National Bolshevism, which is closely connected to the SA hierarchy. People like Gregor Strasser and Ernst Rohm who were later known as `second revolutionaries, attracted our attention” (Forbes, p.15)

He has not discussed this topic in great detail again, never wishing to publically account for his political or ideological position, but it is prophetic and telling in its indication of ideas that are still referenced and linked to by leading artists and fans of these bands and some of the various webzines and magazines that have given space to them (e.g Heathen Harvest, Occidental Congress etc). It also seems clear that these were the ideas that DIJ were engaging with around the period of 1981 – 1984 when Tony Wakeford was a member of the National Front and part of the group who were being referred to as Strasserites and Third positionists. The milieu of neo-folk is littered with references to these thinkers, to the political project of the New Right and the third positionists that came out of the fracture of the (UK) National Front in the early 1980s. DIJ, in name, referenced the `night of the long knives’ and the culling of the leadership of the SA and also in the dates put on the first two releases: SA 29 6 34 and SA 30 6 34, Tony Wakefords post DIJ band Above the Ruins were a direct reference to Evola and contained lyrics that echoed the third positionist direction of the NF, the title of the first Sol Invictus album was `Against the Modern World’ a reference to Evola’s work `Revolt against the Modern World’ (1996), Current 93 referenced Francis Parker Yockey’s `Imperium’ (1969) work on the album of the same name in 1987 and Savitri Devi on the album `Thunder Perfect Mind’ (1992). As the scene develops many bands reference and provide links to this range of thinkers maybe most clearly in the compilations Cavalcare El Tigre (Eis Und Licht, 1998 a reference to Evolas work of the same name) featuring Von Thronsthal, Alerseelen, Orplid, Blood Axis, Waldteufel, Camerata Mediolanense and Ain Soph amongst others and more recently the Von Thronstahl album `Sacrificare’ which alerts readers of the CD liner notes to look at the work of Moeller Van Den Bruck and Joseph-Marie Comte De Maestre one of the founders of a European Conservatism that put its trust in emotional allegiance to an unquestioned authority; usually a form of hereditary monarchy.

From Boyd Rice’s continuous references to Ragnar Redbeard's Social Darwinist `Might is Right’ text and his appearance on Tom Metzger’s Race and Reason Cable TV show (where he discusses White Nationalist/power music mentioning DIJ, C93 and Above the Ruins) to Tesco distribution (Neo-Folk and Marital Industrial distributor) selling books such as De Benoist’s `On being a Pagan’, John Michell’s `Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist’ and the Evola inspired `Handbook for Traditional Living’ published by Artkos (who also publish work by Troy Southgate the National Anarchist/3rd Positionist and racial separatist), through to Michael Moynihan’s publishing of Seige (1992)  the work of James Mason the American National Socialist Mansonite, there are continuous and clear signposts to writing and work in the fascist, traditionalist and conservative revolutionary tradition. There are many other examples of this tendency within this scene and to clearly outline and discuss these specific elements of this milieu would need a fairly exhaustive work, which, I am sure, will be produced by many different writers and commentators. I am currently finishing a piece that deals with some of these elements but my intention here is to state clearly that I have no political, ideological or philosophical sympathy with any of the ideas of Fascism, traditionalism or conservative revolutionary thought. My interest in this milieu stems from my own immersion and interest in anarchist punk, post-punk, gothic music and various dance music scenes that provided clear links to sets of ideas, artistic practice, political activism and lifestyles – my own politics has come partly out of these types of engagement and could be described as a type of humanism derived from a combination of post Marxism, anarchism and libertarian thought but clearly driven by non-elitist, democratic and egalitarian principles all of which are clearly totally oppositional to the ideas presented by some of the key members of this musical milieu and in fact openly despised by some of them.

The reason for starting this piece with reference to Browning’s work is that although the neo-folk and post-industrial milieu is inhabited by a variety of different political, philosophical, spiritual and lifestyle ideas, practices and supporters there is a clearly significant and dominant use of the ideas of some of the most elitist, racist, conservative and traditionalist thinkers from the 19th, 20th and now 21st centuries, those ideas can lead to and provide a strong conformist group dynamic. Some people will be drawn to these ideas through their engagement with this milieu and some will take these ideas forward to develop a type of political engagement. I would hope that further discussion of these ideas and illumination of their potential social and cultural impact will break many individuals from that engagement and get them to look to develop their own work with a different set of reference points. So even though I think that this blog has taken my work completely out of context in terms of what it suggests should have been the focus of my chapter and of some fairly crude slurs on my reputation I would suggest that `some’ of the material here is useful. Whether individuals in this milieu are active politically or not the main point here is that the use of these thinkers in the forefront of the reference points used by the main bands as they have developed over the years leads to the creation of a group dynamic and conformity to this type of thinking amongst a significant section of the audience and new bands that emerge. This element of the milieu is one that I feel is highly problematic and one that needs opposing critically within the scene as well as from outside.

Peter Webb, October 2010

Bibliographic References
Browning, Christopher (1992) Ordinary Men : Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, New York : HarperCollins
Devi, Savitri (2000) The Lightning and the Sun. Lulu.com
De Benoist, Alain. (2004) On Being a Pagan. Ultra Press.
Evola, Julius (1996) Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion and Social Order in the Kali Yuga. Inner Traditions Bear and Company
Evola, Julius (2002) Men among the ruins: Post-war reflections of a radical traditionalist. Inner Traditions, Bear and Company 
Forbes, Robert (1995) Death In June: Misery and Purity. Jara Press 
Goddrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2000) Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism. New York University Press
Silfen, Paul Harrison (1973) The Volkisch ideology and the roots of Nazism; The early writings of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck. Exposition.
Southgate, Tory. (2010) Tradition & Revolution: Collected Writings of Troy Southgate. Arktos Press.
Spengler, Oswald. (2007) Decline of the West. Open University Press
Yockey, Francis Parker (1969) Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics. Noontide Press

124 comments:

  1. Why Webb couldn't be clearer on this in the first place is beyond me. Now perhaps this hapless fanboy would like to explain why he further white-washed the neo-folk scene in his interview with Tony Wakeford and Reeve Malka. Even by academic standards - with which no one with any sense has any truck - Webb has cut a very sorry figure. But good to see that a dose of sensible criticism can make even someone as silly as Wee Pete Webb wise up slightly. An improvement but could try harder if he wants his attempts at 'revolutionary' rehabilitation taken seriously. 4/10.

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  2. It is good to see that the level of intellectual debate is high in the comments section! Another prick hiding behind an anonymous posting suggesting that he or she knows better than the rest of us poor deluded fools, like the person that these comments originate from there is another type of elitism apparent in these comments; that of an arrogant revolutionary who knows better than the class they think they represent. If you knew anything about the people you are talking about here you may have chosen to actually present some criticism rather than the infantile smear stuff that you present. Maybe next time you can let us know who you actually are so you can be responsible for your comments in the real world and maybe some kind of intelligent debate can happen?

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  3. "who knows better than the class they think they represent"

    Funnily enough, some friends were talking to some working class Asians in Leicester at the weekend, as the EDL tried again to rampage through their town, terrifying women and children in their wake. From what I hear, as long as you oppose Fascism you can be pretty sure that you aren't far off from being in tune with them.

    You get a consolation point though for linking to The Mob. 'No Doves Fly Here' may be the best thing Crass Records ever released, and you've brought back memories for me of schlepping around the south coast in the early 80s following them on tour.

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  4. "If you knew anything about the people you are talking about here you may have chosen to actually present some criticism rather than the infantile smear stuff that you present"

    Perhaps "The mob is near" would like to elaborate on what they think is the smear in my comment above. Do they actually think Webb's interview with Wakeford and Malka is unproblematic? Do they really believe the majority of those who have read Webb's badly written book could see this cut-price academic as anything other than silly and cutting a very sorry figure?

    And if "The mob is near" wish to be taken seriously it would be better if they posted with their real name when leaving ridiculous comments like: "Maybe next time you can let us know who you actually are so you can be responsible for your comments in the real world and maybe some kind of intelligent debate can happen?" This piece of stupidity leaves "The mob is near" looking as intellectually challenged as Pete Webb, and if they aren't careful they may end up being mistaken for him.

    That said, I couldn't give a toss who "The mob is near" actually is, I'm just pointing out that what s/he says and what s/he does are inconsistent. Why s/he cares who I am - unless, of course, s/he wants to smear me - is beyond me too.

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  5. It its rather telling that Dr. Webb does not in any way engage with the very thoughtful and detailed criticisms by Strelnikov. He seems to believe he can simply paper over the criticisms made, which concern not any statements of fact or their omission but Dr. Webb's approach and methodology in doing his job (the job of being a sociologist, and therewith using a modest portion of societal surplus product on, supposedly, the illumination of cultural process in the interste of emancipation; or was that not the idea?) by listing crude facts of which we are all aware (the pervasive presence of fascist/'conservative revolution' references in the 'subculture' or 'milieu' [a rather rotten and even academically outdated category] under discussion). Now it is appreciated that also Dr. Webb is aware of these facts, but this was not the point of the critique. Perhaps Dr. Webb will take a second chance and actually engage with Strelnikov's critique: given that all the things of which he (unnecessarily) reminds us in his reposte are as they are, why did he write his book (and interviews etc.) the way he wrote it? Can we look forward to a revised second edition that will take the stated information into account?

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  6. A lot the ideas floating around on here are fairly accurate, but from an outside view of the post-industrial milieu.In America at least, Power Electronics, Neo-Folk, etc. and the ideas of National Anarchism, Evola, Troy Southgate, etc. have led to the emergence of a whole new type of DIY racialist subculture.It's not that its coming, its already here.

    -Oneiric Imperium

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  7. @ Oneiric Imperium,
    I don't understand the point you are making. Your comment about a "DIY racialist subculture" already being here is surely exactly the subject of this blog. You are simply stating the obvious, and sounding pretty pleased about it. The fascist entryist tactics of Southgate, Wakeford, Tibet et al have been in place since the first half of the eighties.
    In fact power electronics and neofolk has been very effectively co-opted by these people and their followers.
    What is more to the point is that Wakeford, Southgate, Tibet and other fellow travelers and their fans deny absolutely that they are, as you describe them, "a whole new type of DIY racialist subculture".
    In fact this subculture uses a kind of metalanguage as a way of expressing their beliefs by talking round the subject and using language freighted with (prick-up-your-ears) symbols, rather than bold or bald statement. This obfuscation of subject is an attempt to keep those who might oppose the ideas and politics of so much neofolk and industrial music from easily interpreting exactly what is being discussed or promoted. Ambiguity and allusion allows for easy denial in the face of any accusation of fascism. This way they keep their politics contained in the realm of aesthetics and signification, and give their fans a little frisson of transgressive, insider excitement without scaring them off with old-fashioned harum-scarum National Front-style fascism, which is of course what it really is.
    Perhaps you are a case in point yourself. You haven't actually stated support for these ideas, but instead employed a name that suggests you do, and in calling the "ideas floating around on here (...) fairly accurate, but from an outside view of the post-industrial milieu", suggested that you are "inside" the milieu. I guess we have no way of knowing, unless you tell us. It would be refreshing if you did. Then we could have a real exchange of political ideas rather than the usual game of cat and mouse.

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  8. Oneiric Imperium (if it is him) is speaking from within the milieu. According to one site I found:

    "Most Philly people in the DIY scene are aware of this guy Bood Samel aka Oneiric Imperium, but his real name is Eric Kaiser and he is wanted by the police. If you see him please call 911 because he is a wanted felon and deserves jail time.

    He disappeared for awhile to avoid the heat, but he is back and acting like nothing ever happened. Far from laying low, he has openly affiliated with the Keystone State Skinheads and is being more out about his true intentions every day.

    His last felony was Aggravated Assault, 1st degree. A girl that he had previously stalked was beaten mercilessly by him and hospitalized with two fractured forearms. This occurred in Ambler, Pa. A warrant was succinctly issued and according to those police he has other warrants as well. But, he is smart enough to never carry ID and to always use an alias."

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  9. Yea its me.

    While a few of the old guard hides behind ambiguity, mainly I think because they sell enough CDs that they don't have to have real jobs, the majority of bands/projects after them don't.

    The top Neo-Folk bands sell enough CDs to have an audience outside of those who identify with the content and the ideals behind them and so they play down any involvement with this area of culture outside of it being merely an aesthetic as not to disturb their cash flow.

    I have an aching suspicion some conscious choices were made in that regard by those involved with Tesco, though that is only based on heresy and word of mouth bits and pieces that I've heard directly from various people. Ever notice those who did the most back peddling were the ones making a living off of their work? It's not like the Greywolves ever recanted anything.

    Also one thing about things coming off to outsiders as "deliberately ambiguous" is that I think you guys may not get that a lot of people into this sort of thing are coming from a completely different angle then the typical Oi
    perspective.

    It's like different people coming to the same intersection from different roads. For instance I came from the crusty scene and still have squatter friends. On one hand I feel a sort of atavistic resonance with the Eurocentric, but I'm not particularly interested in totalitarian regimes or keeping non-whites from having their culture based on similar experiences.

    http://www.heathenharvest.com/article.php?story=20080728160251256

    A great deal of people I know into post-industrial culture are former leftist punks so they are relating to racialist ideas in a way that to some may seem confusing or ambiguous because what they feel is unfamiliar to the usual dialog on the matter.

    In America post-industrial culture is deliberately and self-consciously racialist. We have our DIY shows, venues, etc and are a solidly emergent subculture on the rise.

    Antifa types have been able to shut down shows in some cases, but only because they have been in regular clubs and booked by typical goth-club promoters who don't care about our culture, so when their money is threatened they pull out. Here in Philadelphia we've had Changes play twice, multiple shows of mine and genocide lolita, cult of youth, and related non-musical events (including a Boyd Rice book signing and a David Irving lecture) that went on without so much as a whimper. Philadelphia also has one of the biggest anarchist communities in the country, yet they can't stop an event that is in our own spaces.

    We are simply doing our own thing regardless as to weather or not people don't like it.

    Just like every anti-war movie is really pro-war, all the critiques like this site inadvertently contribute to post-industrial culture. I read Black Sun and Dreamer of the day and all they did was help spark my initial interest in these matters.

    It's a lot easier to come across a crass CD then screwdriver or death in june album. When you get burned out on the failures and inconsistencies of leftist culture writers like Evola, Savitri Devi, etc provide a counter-critique that is refreshing because their ideas are far more encompassing and compelling when looking at the mess were in.


    -Oneiric Imperium

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  10. @ Oneiric Imperium/Bood Samel.
    Whilst you are obviously a violent person who appears to be shameless about assaulting a woman, and being a racist to boot, this is the first time I have heard anyone on the scene admit what people who oppose the fascist element in neofolk and industrial music have been saying for years. You are wrong that we are under the impression that most followers of the scene come from the Oi scene, people I have discussed this subject with regularly have long been aware that it draws its audience from across the spectrum of subcultures; anarcho-punks, goths, leftists turned rightist, "green anarchists, etc, etc. You are in that sense typical.

    As for what you say about people keeping quiet about their true politics because they have careers to protect - the same applies. I am well aware that the likes of Wakeford keep their heads down when fascism is mentioned because they have careers to protect. After all he continued to sell Above The Ruins CDs long after he had supposedly renounced membership of the National Front as "the worst mistake in my life" What a creep Wakeford is!

    I have been specifically looking at the scene around neofolk/industrial music recently, in particular the "enablers" of the scene - publishers, labels, magazines, distributers and promoters. Tesco Germany are a case in point as you say. Joachim Kohl and Klaus Hilger, who founded the label have always kept a low profile. I found one interview with them in a Belarussian magazine called Stigmata who gave them the usual "nazi-wash" soft questioning (leading questions that allow for easy denial):

    Stigmata: " (...) about the "right-wing" (...) mostly the spectre of conservative-revolutionary, traditionalist and third-position ideologies and bands sharing them... when "usual" people see the artworks, for example of Dagda Mor's releases or inserts for first Genocide Organ LP, they say: "A-ha, nazi thugs!" (...) I heard German antifa have a grudge against you just for this reason. How do you feel about all this?"

    Tesco: "We are not interested in usual narrow-minded people (...) I have not heard of the antifa grudge against us. There is a wide range of bands on Tesco going all-over all political and artistic ideas. There is no way to judge us by 3 or 4 bands. They have to see all together, even then its hard to say. Stupid people with nothing to do are looking around to hassle others but there always after the same. Its getting boring… We are not interested in politics as a label and especially not in their or these politics."
    (The babelfish translation makes it a bit hard to understand but you get the picture).

    What you say about the scene in Philadelphia is depressing. Sadly the same happens with fascist bands here in London, but it is much less blatant - Irving wouldn't get far here, the English Defence League is taking a real beating at the moment. And the BNP have fallen apart again. America seems to be going collectively insane since Obama became President, what with the Tea Party and White Supremacist movement - The Moronic Inferno!

    And you, Bood Samel, (I really cannot take your pathetic Oneiric Imperium moniker seriously), what is it with you fascists and names and uniforms? It's a bit like dressing up in daddy's big boots - look at me mummy! It seems pathetic losers like yourself find some identity in dressing up and having transgressive views on race, banging on the tin drum (like a real soldier mummy!) and dreaming of marching about with your Aryan Supremacist friends while Death In June play some of their dreadful martial music - toy music for big, bad boys - if it weren't for the disgusting racist nature of the politics we could all just laugh at you.

    I really hope you get to serve a very long sentence for what you did to that poor woman.

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  11. Oneiric Imperium is indulging in wishful thinking when he says sites like this help promote the neo-folk scene. Since this site is convincing music fans and music industry people that the likes of Tony Wakeford and Ian Read are not ex-fascists but rather crypto-fascists, it will help block off access to the mainstream for them and those they have worked with closely who share their far-Right views - including David Tibet, Doug Pearce, Boyd Rice etc. The end result is fewer of those who aren't already full-blown and self-conscious fascist sympathisers being drawn into the neo-folk subculture. Anyone who takes a look at everything already on this site can see this is happening. Indeed this site is doing such a good job in the long term it could well decimate this particular 'music milieu'.

    As for the alleged inconsistencies of 'leftist' writers, I suspect that Oneiric Imperium has failed to understand that the good ones are dialectical materialists - deliberately drawing out points of contradiction. You can't compare idiots like Julius Evola and Savitri Devi with say Karl Marx - even if you wanted to do so to show up how dumb neo-fascist ideology is, it would be ridiculous because Marx is in a different league (Super Bowl champion) to rank amateurs like Devi and Evola (to use a different metaphor it is like comparing worms to a lion). Marx was not only an amazingly insightful critic of capitalism, when he turned his hand to journalism he was also a gifted writer with a neat turn of phrase. Evola and Devi were deluded fools who could neither write nor think clearly.

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  12. " Since this site is convincing music fans and music industry people that the likes of Tony Wakeford and Ian Read are not ex-fascists but rather crypto-fascists, it will help block off access to the mainstream for them and those they have worked with closely who share their far-Right views - including David Tibet, Doug Pearce, Boyd Rice etc. The end result is fewer of those who aren't already full-blown and self-conscious fascist sympathisers being drawn into the neo-folk subculture. "

    I really don't think too many people involved in post-industrial culture are concerned with going mainstream. The sound of the majority of it is inaccessible to the point where it could never be a commercially viable product. A parallel example would be that at the height of death metals commercial success as big as it got was the cannibal corpse cameo in that Ace Ventura movie. Which didn't amount to much.

    30 second chunks of genocide organ can't be used to sell nikes, so none of this music is ever going to achieve mainstream success regardless of the content.

    There are also some trends in American underground culture that you may not get that are gaining popularity for post-industrial culture outside of those who agree with the ideas behind it. Leftist punk norms don't dominate underground culture here anymore, but rather the malaise of irony and "whatever" belonging to Indie Rock.

    Sites like this give post-industrial culture a "naughty" appeal and here in America we have indie hipsters in Death in June t-shirts and listening to NSBM.

    Hell about two years ago I was at a indie musical festival in Brooklyn where Tesco had a merch table and Cult of Youth played. The crowd was a mix of people in their sharp little black uniforms and the usual NYC indie types.

    Kids in America don't care about politics and so when leftists attack Post-Industrial culture it makes us seem like underdogs and the Leftists like puritanical reactionaries. We have established ourselves as another faction in the underground cultural mosaic and largely thanks to the publicity from efforts like yours.

    So please make us out to be the bad guys.

    -Oneiric Imperium

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  13. PART ONE:

    "There are many other examples of this tendency within this scene and to clearly outline and discuss these specific elements of this milieu would need a fairly exhaustive work, which, I am sure, will be produced by many different writers and commentators. I am currently finishing a piece that deals with some of these elements but my intention here is to state clearly that I have no political, ideological or philosophical sympathy with any of the ideas of Fascism, traditionalism or conservative revolutionary thought. My interest in this milieu stems from my own immersion and interest in anarchist punk, post-punk, gothic music and various dance music scenes that provided clear links to sets of ideas, artistic practice, political activism and lifestyles – my own politics has come partly out of these types of engagement and could be described as a type of humanism derived from a combination of post Marxism, anarchism and libertarian thought but clearly driven by non-elitist, democratic and egalitarian principles all of which are clearly totally oppositional to the ideas presented by some of the key members of this musical milieu and in fact openly despised by some of them."

    WEBB@ - WHO , PARTICULARLY, ARE WE SPEAKING OF HERE? WHO ARE THE KEY MEMBERS YOU MENTION WHO DESPISE YOUR IDEAS? YOUR AVOIDANCE OF NAMING NAMES WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS - BOTH OF INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS OR ORGANISATIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN WITHIN YOUR BOOK IS ONE OF THE MOST DESPICABLE THINGS ABOUT SAID TEXT. THE FACT IS IS THAT YOUR WORK IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EDUCATIONAL TEXTBOOK PUBLISHED BY A HITHERTO REPUTABLE COMPANY [ROUTLEDGE - SEEMINGLY PUBLISHED WITHOUT USE OF AN EDITOR IF ALL OF THE ERRORS, BAD GRAMMAR AND SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION ETC. IS ANYTHING TO GO BY]. THE SIZE OF SAID TOME IS NOT SUGGESTIVE OF IT BEING OTHER THAN 'COMPLETE' [600 PAGES?] IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY MENTION YOU MADE WITHIN OF DEALING WITH THINGS ON A LARGER SCALE ELSEWHERE - AND ALSO - IN MY 'BOOK', IF YOU PRAISE SOMETHING THAT YOU KNOW HAS DANGEROUS FLAWS AND SUBTEXTS - YOU OWE IT TO THE READER TO GIVE THEM SOME WARNING.

    I QUOTE YOU HERE FROM ABOVE

    "...although the neo-folk and post-industrial milieu is inhabited by a variety of different political, philosophical, spiritual and lifestyle ideas, practices and supporters there is a clearly significant and dominant use of the ideas of some of the most elitist, racist, conservative and traditionalist thinkers from the 19th, 20th and now 21st centuries, those ideas can lead to and provide a strong conformist group dynamic. Some people will be drawn to these ideas through their engagement with this milieu and some will take these ideas forward to develop a type of political engagement. I would hope that further discussion of these ideas and illumination of their potential social and cultural impact will break many individuals from that engagement and get them to look to develop their own work with a different set of reference points. So even though I think that this blog has taken my work completely out of context in terms of what it suggests should have been the focus of my chapter and of some fairly crude slurs on my reputation I would suggest that `some’ of the material here is useful."

    DO YOU [WEBB] ACCEPT THAT WHAT YOU HAVE PRODUCED IS THOROUGHLY IRRESPONSIBLE , BECAUSE OF LACK OF WARNING TO YOUR READERS ABOUT what YOU feel [as referenced here in your reply to the original blogs] YOU KNOW ABOUT THESE PEOPLES AND BANDS VARIOUS POLITICAL WORLD VIEWS? DO YOU NOT FEEL THAT YOU YOURSELF HAVE NOT, WITH YOUR STYLE AND APPROACH, LED PEOPLE. PREVIOUSLY IGNORANT OF THIS SCENE, TOWARDS THAT MINDSET? DO YOU WANT TO OR DO YOU THINK IT IS RIGHT TO SEE DIJ ON SHELVES ALONGSIDE PORTISHEAD OR MASSIVE ATTACK?

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  14. PART TWO:

    I QUOTE AGAIN ;

    "Whether individuals in this milieu are active politically or not the main point here"

    [NOT THE MAIN POINT? CERTAINLY AN IMPORTANT ONE THOUGH, AT VERY LEAST!]

    "is that the use of these thinkers in the forefront of the reference points used by the main bands as they have developed over the years leads to the creation of a group dynamic and conformity to this type of thinking amongst a significant section of the audience and new bands that emerge."

    SO ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE BANDS YOU DEAL WITH STILL ARE - OR HAVE BEEN IRRESPONSIBLE AND ARE POTENTIALLY HARMFUL? IF SO - WHY DID YOU NOT SAY THAT IN THE BOOK? AND HOW DO YOU SQUARE THE ABOVE AND THIS NEXT SENTENCE;

    "This element of the milieu is one that I feel is highly problematic and one that needs opposing critically within the scene as well as from outside."

    WITH THE LAST LINE OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH YOU WROTE IN YOUR 'NEW DAWN' INTERVIEW WITH SOL INVICTUS [NEW DAWN INDEED! WAS THAT A JOKE ON A PAR WITH WAKEFORDS LEONARD COHEN QUIP MENTIONED ELSEWHERE ON THIS BLOG, PETER?] I QUOTE - [TO FILL IN WITH JUDAS KISS ETC. LINE]

    "There are also elements within this scene that foreground philosophical areas attached to the New right but these groups are thankfully small and marginal to the majority of the scene"

    'SMALL AND MARGINAL' IS NOT, I WOULD SUGGEST, THE SAME AS A ' SIGNIFICANT SECTION'.

    IF IT WEREN'T FOR 'OUTSIDE INTERVENTION' BY THE LIKES OF HOME ET AL. IT SEEMS AS THOUGH ADDRESSING THIS WAS ONE TASK YOU WERE QUITE PREPARED TO LEAVE TO OTHERS - TO TRY TO CLEAR UP SOME OF THE MESS YOU HAVE MADE.

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  15. PART THREE:

    ....IT IS BECAUSE YOU PRESENT SUCH AN IMPECCABLE PAST, OR SO IT WOULD SEEM, NOT LEAST FROM YOUR GOLDSMITHS, AND BEFORE THAT, BIRMINGHAM PROFILE - AND INDEED PROBABLY FROM OTHER SITES ON THE WEB THAT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS SO THOROUGHLY REPREHENSIBLE [NOTWITHSTANDING THAT YOU, LIKE WAKEFORD, APPARENTLY BELONGED TO THE FAR LEFT S.W.P. - WHICH YOU ALLOW WAKEFORD TO TAKE A SIDESWIPE AT IN THE INTERVIEW - ALTHOUGH ITS A FACT THAT IN OBITUARIES OF THE LATE JOHN TYNDALL THE LATE LONG-TERM LEADER OF THE NF AND THE BNP WAS REVEALED AS HAVING BEEN IN THE COMMUNIST PARTY FOR SIX YEARS PRIOR TO HIS FAR-RIGHT INVOLVEMENT - SO THIS PARTICULAR CHARACTER ENDORSEMENT MAY BE SEEN AS HAVING A LITTLE LESS WORTH THAN IT OTHERWISE MIGHT HAVE WITHOUT THIS DETAIL]

    - BUT, AWAY FROM THAT ASIDE - YOU DRAG DOWN THE REPUTATION OF THOSE ESTABLISHMENTS AND PAST INVOLVEMENTS THROUGH SUCH OMISSION AND THEREFORE SUCH SEEMING ASSOCIATION/APPROBATION - IF ONLY IT WAS JUST BY THE SIN OF OMISSION - FOR, HOWEVER, I FEEL THAT YOU ARE LYING ABOUT YOUR SYMPATHIES - WHY ARE THERE SUCH GLOWING THANKS TO TONY WAKEFORD [HE IS FIRST IN THE LIST ] IN YOUR BOOK? - WHY ARE YOU IN TANDEM IN A SMALL ORGANISATION {I.C.R.N.} YOU HAVE SET UP WITH A MAN - THE MAN WHO POSTED THE ABOVE TEXT FOR YOU ON THE I.C.R.N. WEBSITE WHO THINKS IT FUNNY OR COOL TO DRESS UP IN A BROWN SHIRT AND TIE AND POSE IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF MUSSOLINI? [ALEXEI MUNROE] IS HE A PERSON YOU ARE HOPING TO CONVERT TO 'RIGHT THINKING'? BECAUSE IT SEEMS HE ALREADY IS, IN A [WRONG] MANNER OF SPEAKING...AND WHY DID YOU RELEASE THE AFOREMENTIONED CRAWLING AND FANLETTERISH INTERVIEW IN ABOUT FIVE SEPARATE PLACES ONLINE TO COINCIDE WITH THE RELEASE OF YOUR BOOK...AN INTERVIEW THAT REALLY TAKES THE BISCUIT IN TERMS OF BAD GRAMMAR AND SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION FROM THE OUTSET - BUT THIS IS JUST A MINISCULE GRIPE HOWEVER, BUT A POINTER POSSIBLY TOWARDS THE DISRESPECT OF TRUTH WITHIN. APPARENTLY IT TOOK YOU SIX MONTHS TO GET AROUND TO PUTTING IT TOGETHER [SO YOU SAY AT THE END OF THE PIECE ["Interview with Tony Wakeford and Reeve Malka London September 2007, Written and undertaken by Peter Webb. February 2008.] AND YOU FAIL AT ANY POINT DURING THAT TIME TO INTERVIEW AN 'EX'- CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF A MAN WHO HAS BEEN DESCRIBED IN THE NATIONAL PRESS [AS RECENTLY THIS CENTURY - FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO - WHICH WAS TWO OR THREE WHEN THE INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE - AS A VERY DANGEROUS MAN INDEED - [SO MUCH SO THAT THE NORMALLY 'TOTALLY RETICENT TO NAME NAMES' WAKEFORD HAS A GO AT HIM IN THE INTERVIEW - "......He then said `do you know the group the Order of the Nine Angles’ and I thought `oh my god, of course I know, David bloody Myatt!’. For me all of that is way beyond the pale, whatever he has been involved in whether it has been far right politics, magic or Islamic stuff the underlying core of it has been a virulent anti-Semitism." WE DON'T GET RICHARD MOULT [FOR IT IS HE WHO IS BEING TALKED ABOUT] IN HIS OWN WORDS ON THIS AT ALL, THOUGH....

    ARE YOU GOING TO CONTACT ROUTLEDGE AND SUGGEST THEY INCLUDE AN INSERTED WARNING - OR. SAY, AT VERY LEAST LINK TO THIS SITE BECAUSE OF THE 'OMISSIONS' YOU HAVE MADE? OR ARE YOU CONTENT TO LEAVE THAT UP TO OTHERS TO DO?

    THE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO BOUGHT YOUR BOOK AND INDEED THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS WHO EMPLOY YOU DESERVE AN APOLOGY FROM YOU - JUDGING FROM YOUR RESPONSE HERE IT SEEMS THAT YOU DO NOT THINK ONE IS NECESSARY AND CANNOT COUNTENANCE JUST HOW STUPID YOU HAVE BEEN - PERHAPS IT IS TIME FOR PEOPLE TO WRITE TO THESE INSTITUTIONS AND DEMAND THAT THEY [THE UNIVERSITIES] THEMSELVES, AS BEING IN PART PUBLIC SERVANTS REMONSTRATE WITH YOU TO GIVE A PROPER APOLOGY THAT SHOWS THAT YOU KNOW JUST HOW WRONG YOU'VE BEEN AND JUST WHAT DAMAGE YOU MAY HAVE CAUSED....

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  16. Firstly, Mr Hyde it would be useful to know who you really are as I seem to be amongst a limited number of people (3) on this blog who use their real names. I'm not sure why you feel unable to use your own name? Maybe you would like to enlighten us? I will answer all your points but as they are in three sections then I may answer the first block and then later the second etc.
    The first point you make is in asking who the artists would be who disagree or despise my own political position. Let's be very clear here that is a humanist, egalitarian, democratic political position not as you later infer some kind of rightist or fascist politics. I would say that Boyd Rice, Blood Axis, Von Thronstahl, HERR, Luftwaffe and possibly Alerseelen would find those politics objectionable and pathetic because of the democratic values and humanism and that they push an elitist, new right and often fascist agenda. Douglas Pearce may also do so, although as he prefers not to directly state a political position then I wouldn't know, but would guess that he is not in favour of those politics either.
    You say my book should be a complete picture of this scene as it is about 600 pages! You have obviously not read the book as it is 260 pages and there is only one chapter on the post-industrial or neo-folk milieu. There are seven chapters in total the others look at hip-hop, sub-cultural theory, the development of Bristol's music scene, Independence as a form of DIY music (this chapter discusses Crass and three House music labels), and one on musicians working within the industry and how they negotiate contracts, royalties and writing credits amongst other things. Therefore the chapter on Neo-Folk was only ever going to be a partial account of the milieu and it concentrates on the musical development, the links to the punk and Crisis period, discusses paganism and heathenism (which are a central part of this scene) and it states clearly at the end of the chapter that there are many questions about this scene that need developing and some of those are the political ones that this blog has tried to tackle. However the chapter does discuss Tony Wakefords account of his National Front regret, it also talks about certain members of the audience of this scene and their contradictory positions e.g. one women who had was still involved in anti-fascist work who dressed fetishistically for DIJ concerts, a group of ex punks who were anti-racists but liked the music and repelled a young DIJ fan who thought he could engage them in racist banter etc etc and also some ex National Front supporters who were still culturally segregationist.
    In answer to your last point in part 1, I do not feel that I have led people towards this mindset. People who have read the book in detail have commented very positively on its account of these various scenes, it has been independently reviewed by various journals all of which have given a very objective account of it. I am not attempting to draw people into the mindset of this scene. indeed, by that logic I would also be attempting to draw people into the mindset of the UK Hip-hop scene (see chapter 5) or the Independent House Music Scene (See chapter 6). So in answer to your questions in the last paragraph; no I don't feel that I have been irresponsible as the omissions are clearly stated and I am not responsible for putting DIJ in the same record racks as Portishead or Massive Attack - in fact they usually aren't. Those two artists sell a few million of their releases whilst DIJ sell around 1 to possibly 2000 of theirs so it is unlikely that they are often even selling in the same shops. Current 93 how ever often do appear in the same shops even if they don't sell very many. I will return to answer some of your other questions but perhaps in the mean time you can reveal your name then I may be more disposed to enter into a dialogue.

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  17. The silence is deafening and I think shows the lack of substance to the comments of Mr Hyde who still needs to let us know what book of 600 pages he was reading? I will discuss the other points in detail soon but in the meantime, just for clarification, let me enlighten you on the picture behind Alexei Monroe which you say is Mussolini. Mr Hyde really needs to get his visual clues correct otherwise his analysis falls into the realms of fantasy, the picture is of Josep Broz Tito which is not unsurprising as Alexei has written an excellent book on Laibach. Maybe you should look him up on the internet you might learn a thing or two!

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  18. Good afternoon "Mr. Hyde", delighted to make your acquaintance. I'm really not sure where to start but let's at least address the basics:

    1) The person in the photograph behind me is Marsal Josip Broz Tito. You may be too historically illiterate to recognise his image but even you may (perhaps) have heard of him. He was the leader of the Anti-Fascist forces in wartime Yugoslavia, scourge of the Italian Fascists, Nazis and local collaborators. The fact that you can make such a crass error entirely negates your arguments. You're obviously a 'shoot first, ask questions later' character willing to overlook basic facts (and unable even to transcribe my name accurately).

    In my book on Laibach and the NSK movement I discuss the historical legacy of the anti-Fascist struggle led by Tito and detail Nazi and Fascist atrocities, as well as continuing far-right activity in Italy and Austria. I have never, nor would I pose in front a Mussolini image. This is a seriously defamatory (and risible) statement. Neither am I remotely motivated by what anyone considers 'cool'. I look forward to your public apology and an admission of your own ineptitude.

    2) I.C.R.N. is an attempt to discuss seriously the tensions and contradictions surrounding industrial and industrialised culture generally. We could live an 'easy' life and shy away from this but we choose not to. If I took the path of least resistance I wouldn't have people accusing me of posing in front of Mussolini photos (and by implication accusing me of far worse). However, we are not going to be side-tracked or intimidated and leave these issues as the exclusive property of the two political extremes.

    3) I'm a colleague of Peter Webb but the idea that I'm under his influence is, I'm afraid, just another of your self-aggrandising 'neos under the bed' fantasies. I published his material on the I.C.R.N. blog because:

    a) I feel it adds to the debate.
    b) I think he should have the right to respond to these attacks (and widen the debate in the process).

    This doesn't mean that we are in total agreement on all points. Personally I've always kept more distance from SI/C93/DIJ axis (as much for musical as political reasons) and I can see major flaws in their approach. Sorry to disillusion you but I.C.R.N. is not and never has been a monolithic platform or front. It's a loose alliance of people with shared interests. There are differences between and within us, and unlike some we are willing and able to discuss ambivalence and ambiguity.

    4) Perhaps you and your associates ought to consider that by claiming these obscure groups pose such a threat you are directly contributing to their own propaganda and adding just the sheen of transgressive glamour that you claim is so seductive.

    5) I must say that it's ironic that someone so keen to draw attention to grammatical and presentational issues seems to have to developed an obsessive-compulsive relationship with the caps lock key. Still, perhaps you think you're being 'cool' and 'funny' and who am I to spoil your pleasure?

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  19. @Alexei

    "Personally I've always kept more distance from SI/C93/DIJ axis (as much for musical as political reasons"

    what are your political reasons for avoiding them?

    "by claiming these obscure groups pose such a threat you are directly contributing to their own propaganda"

    That's not how they feel about it. All the evidence would suggest that one thing they have in common with your own approach is that they too would prefer that we ignore their politics.

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  20. Please take a look at UK parliament, or Italian parliament, or Hungarian parliament, or US Congress...
    PS. What about communist industrial: Autopsia? or communist/vegan industrial: Autopsia & Achtar?

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  21. Autopsia/Achtar on Unite compilation with Transglobal Underground:
    http://www.autopsia.net/hudci_jukebox/autopsia_hudci.html

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  22. Strelnikov, thanks for your clear and lucid questions. Personally, I don't feel these groups handle the Nazi legacy as subtly or with as much sophistication or subtlety as Laibach (my many statements on the latter are a matter of record). Sometimes they've been pretty clumsy. Yet as I can't say precisely what their political agendas are now I don't condemn them a priori (as I do with skin/neo/Oi groups) My criteria are: are they (now) members of far-right groups? Do they advocate violence? Does their work incite hatred? So it's a combined political-aesthetic distaste but I do feel it's important to discuss these issues.

    I'm involved in this as I feel it's important to have this debate. The wider question lurking behind all this is whether it's wise/desirable to criminalise entire aesthetic and political categories and to prohibit their use in all circumstances. Some people on you side of the argument seem to want that but wouldn't it create martyrs and enhance the victim complex of the right? Wouldn't it also drive some of the fans and artists decisively over to the right in solidarity? While they may relish being in an ambiguous position might they not then decide to seek refuge on the right side of the spectrum? As I've said in relation to Laibach (a group which is certainly in a different category to those discussed here), it's completely legitimate to feel distaste and unease in relation to some of this work and also to criticise. What I'm reacting against (besides borderline libel) is what feels like an attempt to snuff out all discussion and drive underground rather than critically with something that isn't going to go away.

    Can you define what 'my own approach' is exactly (or what you perceive it to be)? I'm happy to discus their politics and Peter Webb has made an intensive and conscientious attempt to do so. Remember that until he stepped into the fray none of this was being discussed seriously. Groups like Von Thronstahl and Luftwaffe surely revel in such accusations which then feed back into their own mythology. It's important to be very sure (as I am in the case of these two groups) before condemning them.

    Industrial in particular did make a rod for its own book by positioning itself so much around transgression/ambivalence and ambiguity but you can't have industrial without it. We are trying to enter this debate (using our own names and speaking on the record) and to thrash out the issues but if in return we're slandered and if autonomous apolitical fans of these groups are constantly told they 'must' be rightist that doesn't leave very much space for debate.

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  23. Industrial music is about OUR society, which is as Jean Baudrillard said "cool fascism".

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  24. @Alexei: there is scope for real argument between us regarding the motivations and ideology of some of the people and groups concerned. I think some of these people consciously promote a radical rightist political agenda in a non-political way (I mean something like Shekhovtsov's concept of apoliteic culture). I don't think they 'mishandle' the fascist legacy, but rather misrepresent it and try to make some of it's underlying ideas acceptable (while ducking any explicit commitment to fascism). I agree too that Laibach have been considerably more sophisticated in their treatment of these issues, but I still take exception to them. These are the big questions that separate this blog from ICRN, and I hope to have them out at some point.

    On a minor note, I don't see the sense of having a criterion of party membership when discussing ideology - the fact that a person is not a member of a fascist group doesn't bear in the slightest on whether they are a fascist ideologue (see Evola for details).

    "The wider question lurking behind all this is whether it's wise/desirable to criminalise entire aesthetic and political categories and to prohibit their use in all circumstances."

    I would say that it is certainly a mistake to 'criminalise' entire aesthetic categories, but that doesn't mean I'm not for subjecting them to excoriating criticism and attack - and, in the case of bona fide fascists, physical confrontation where necessary.

    "Can you define what 'my own approach' is exactly"

    In saying that I was referring exclusively to your approach to the matter of criticising (or not) some of the individuals who toy with fascism in this way (and not your approach as a whole, which I'm not familiar with enough to comment on). Ie. I don't agree that criticism of these people strengthens their hand or makes them look more attractive to their audience. I was merely saying that 'your approach is to ignore them - but that is what they hope for from the left'

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  25. (cont'd)

    I couldn't agree with you more about Industrial culture creating the problem in the first place by its ambivalent (untheorised, un-thought-thru) attitude to 'transgression'. That was the spur for the creation of this blog - the thought that such an attitude to transgression (which I consider broadly positive) should turn out to provide cover for fascist ideologues. I certainly don't condemn Industrial culture as such - in some ways this blog is an attempt to rescue the reputation of early Industrial culture by trying to draw a clear line between progressive and reactionary uses of the theme of transgression. I certainly spent years considering myself part of 'Industrial Culture', and have not become a nun since then.

    To be absolutely clear - the argument (from me, at least) is not that fans of such and such music are fascists, but that particular groups and individuals within various cultures are promoting (aspects of) fascist ideology. The hope is that identifying those trends will cause polarisation among fans, between those who want to oppose such ideology and those who don't. Ultimately I guess that a sensible fan of the music might also want to reflect on what it is about transgression *in the abstract* that makes it so easy to bend to rightist purposes.

    I always thought of transgression as transgressing power ('control', in Burroughs) - but that ultimately means taking sides in social struggles. The cod Industrial transgressor, on the other hand, sees anti-fascism as being as problematic as fascism, and so places themselves above society. The result is that they very often buttress social forces that should be opposed. The fact that they may or may not consider themselves above such concerns is of very little interest to me.

    Anyway, I have for several months had a copy of your book on Laibach ready to study and comment on, but have been swamped by work. I hope to get around to it soon and to publish a critique. I am, of course, more than happy to engage in any debate before then.

    And feel free to invite me to speak on the subject of 'transgression and fascist aesthetics' at the next ICRN get-together.

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  26. (con't)

    Let me add that I think Industrial Culture's attitude to transgression is connected with (in a loose way), or mirrors, the development of post-structuralism and post-modernism in academia, and that the two give rise to similar problems. I find the academic treatment of such issues to be infected by postmodern BS about identity, class, etc., and opens the door to rightist ideologues. But that is maybe an argument for another time.

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  27. ps. I posted my comments about post-structuralism before seeing (and accepting) Autopsia's comment about Baudrillard

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  28. Vera Bremerton22 Feb 2011 18:51:00

    @Strelnikov, who endorses "physical confrontation where necessary"

    Now that's what I call fascist. Very revealing, Mr. Strelnikov. Thank you.

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  29. Well I hope I'm not being too optimistic but the tone of our exchanges today has been pretty reasonable and constructive. My initial response was to the inaccurate and offensive stance of 'Mr. Hyde'.

    This is a debate that's needed to happen for a long time and if we can take that further calmly I welcome it. I'm reassured that you're not speaking from a position of wanting to suppress industrial (or neofolk?) 'as such' and that you're speaking with inside knowledge of the genre.

    On a less positive note I'm told that at least one comment posted here today hasn't been approved, which does make me doubt how open the debate is going to be but I'll proceed in the hope that it will be.
    What worries me is that there are some who would like to criminalise it as such and who won't tolerate any ambiguity or seemingly any use whatsoever of certain categories.

    The simplistic 'all industrial music is fascism' attitude alienates and intimidates people. It's almost as if some people (clearly not yourself) want to drive people into the arms of the right in order to then retrospectively claim they were right all along. In the eyes of some you will have incriminated yourself by admitting to ever having had any involvement with industrial whatsoever (credit to you for doing so).

    I do agree that there have been some attempts at infiltration of the scene (see for instance the V.A.W.S. label) and that there are other cases where people dally with or wallow in rightist aesthetics without any clear sense of purpose beyond transgression in itself (and this often fails aesthetically). However, I still think that some groups thrive on simplistic and often inaccurate criticism. Many of these groups can be criticised aesthetically in relation to industrial as a form and that that actually hits harder than simplistic leftist criticism that they take as confirmation of their outsider status.

    I can tell you that many people on the scene who came from or would otherwise be more to the Left are alienated by inaccurate and indiscriminate accusations against the scene. It needs to be accepted that people are capable of making autonomous judgements and their political tendencies don't flow automatically from the music they choose to listen to.

    What could really useful would be to define acceptable and unacceptable approaches to the industrial genre.

    A rational public debate might be no bad thing though of course we would need to know who to invite...

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  30. @Vera

    "Strelnikov, who endorses 'physical confrontation where necessary'. Now that's what I call fascist."

    Sorry, but that's idiotic. The use of force 'where necessary' is about as universal a principle as you will find. To try to pass that off as Fascism is laughably silly.

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  31. Part 1.

    I think the problem that emerges in the post and comments here -as well as elsewhere - with regard to Peter Webb and Alexei Monroe, is that they are fans of industrial culture, but at the same time claim to be academics objectively studying it. As a result of their identification with industrial culture they end up failing miserably as academics. I think it would therefore be better for them and everyone else if they found something else to study and write about: something they were able to be somewhat more objective about.

    While I think Mr Hyde might have been more generous about Peter Webb's shift in position as regards fascist currents in neo-folk, the response from the Webb axis is mean spirited and only serves to further discredit Webb and Monroe.

    The obsessions Webb displays with real names is silly. What counts are whether the arguments being made are valid. Of course Webb and Monroe use their real names on much of what they write because they are career academics and getting published under their own name is part and parcel of how they make a living. For those of us who aren't blatant careerists or obsessed with psuedo-intellectual designer brands (Slavoj Žižek, Christopher Hitchens or Camille Paglia to give three particularly pathetic examples), whether or not people use their real names is not much of an issue. Webb's blather on this score is a complete red herring, as is the opening to his comment of 22 February 2011: "The silence is deafening and I think shows the lack of substance to the comments of Mr Hyde.." Really? This is so subjective as to be risible. Mr Hyde obviously isn't a neo-folk fan, so it seems likely he isn't obsessively checking this blog - and it may well be the case that he doesn't have regular axis to the internet.

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  32. Part 2.

    Webb occupies the extremely privileged position of being an academic in the overdeveloped world, his comments about Mr Hyde's silence and the ridiculous conclusions he draws simply reveal his inability to understand that many people live, behave and think, differently to him. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of the world's population do not share Webb's position of being an over-privileged white male bourgeois subject. Many people do not have regular access to the internet, if they have access to it at all. The fact that it is necessary to point this out to Webb in order to deal with what he says here shows just how inept he is as a would-be intellectual.

    Equally typical of Webb is his claim that Mr Hyde "infer(s) some kind of rightist or fascist politics" in the work he has done on neo-folk. My reading of Mr Hyde's comments - and other instances in which Webb has claimed he's being branded a fascist - is that this is a delusion on Webb's part and he is unable to deal with or accept criticism of his piss poor research. To me, and as far as I can tell to Mr Hyde, Webb is a misguided fan of figures such as Tony Wakeford, not a supporter of the same fascist politics as Wakeford. That said, Webb's fan delusions have served to provide a fig-leaf of cover for the crypto-fascist cultural programme of Wakeford and his assorted ex-NF chums. This is something Mr Hyde is clearly angry about, and while I can understand his position - and I'd accept he makes valid points as regards the likes of Moult and Myatt and much else - I still feel he should be more generous about Webb's shift in position. Even if Webb himself is too arrogant to admit that blogs such as this have forced him to at least appear somewhat more critical of neo-folk now than he was in the past.

    Webb's claim the Mr Hyde has "...obviously not read the book as it is 260 pages and there is only one chapter on the post-industrial or neo-folk milieu..." is ridiculous. It is clear from the content of Mr Hyde's posts that he has at least read the chapter on neo-folk in Webb's book, and also other writing by Webb on this genre of music. My Hyde gets the number of pages wrong and while it is legitimate to point this out, it is not legitimate to conclude from this that this particular poster hasn't read Webb's book (the number may be a typo or a hyperbolic complaint about how boring Webb's misleading chapter on neo-folk proved to be for him, as it was indeed for this reader too). Webb's sloppy and unsustainable claim here is indicative of his rhetorical rather than logical approach to constructing arguments; and it serves to underline what I take to be implicit in Mr Hyde's posts, viz that even by academic standards Webb's writing falls shockingly short of the minimal level of competence any reasonable party might expect.

    Monroe is slightly more sophisticated than Webb, and were it not for their shared fascination with industrial culture, I doubt very much that he would write on the subject of attempts to subject the neo-folk subculture to scrutiny: "Peter Webb has made an intensive and conscientious attempt to do so. Remember that until he stepped into the fray none of this was being discussed seriously." As Webb's writing and the comments on this blog demonstrate, Monroe's claims here are preposterous. Aside from much earlier German anti-fa writing in this area, Anton Shekhovtsov's academic work on the subject is concurrent with Webb's, and far superior to it. Webb does not discuss this subject seriously, he approaches it as a fan. Monroe talks of political extremes and uses the old rhetorical trick of placing himself between them in an attempt to appear reasonable and liberal. That said, his out of hand dismissal of critical positions on neo-folk are neither reasonable nor even academically sound, they are the views of an industrial culture fan rather than a serious critic.

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  33. Part 3.

    Indeed, Monroe's hostility towards critical positions on neo-folk matches and at points even mirrors Webb's fanboy approach. For example, Monroe picks on what he takes to be an error on Mr Hyde's part - but may not be - and addresses that rather than the many far more interesting points Mr Hyde raises in his posts. I'd advise people to read through Mr Hyde's posts again, since here I'll take up the matter Monroe seeks to use as a diversion from issues he and Webb can't - or at least won't - deal with. Addressing Webb directly, Mr Hyde writes: "THE MAN WHO POSTED THE ABOVE TEXT FOR YOU ON THE I.C.R.N. WEBSITE WHO THINKS IT FUNNY OR COOL TO DRESS UP IN A BROWN SHIRT AND TIE AND POSE IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF MUSSOLINI? [ALEXEI MUNROE]." Claiming that Mr Hyde is talking about a picture of himself (Monroe) in front of a portrait of Tito - but without establishing this as a proven fact or even qualifying it as a supposition - Monroe replies: "The fact that you can make such a crass error entirely negates your arguments."It is sloppy of Mr Hyde not to provide a source for the picture he mentions, but without this I don't see how Webb and Monroe can conclusively deduce that he is referring to a picture of Monroe posing in front of an image of Josip Broz Tito. They may or may not be correct - but since they and I aren't Mr Hyde, none of us can know the truth of this matter without further clarification.

    Monroe and Webb's air of absolute certainty about exactly which picture Mr Hyde is invoking is from any perspective - even an academic one - extremely unsound. I certainly don't know exactly what My Hyde is invoking with his throwaway comment, and I don't see how Monroe or Webb can either. While I'll provisionally accept Monroe's claim that he would never pose in front of of a picture of Mussolini (as long as I can add the qualification knowingly, and I'll also add that I wouldn't trust Monroe to tell the truth about anything), I wouldn't see it as beyond the bounds of possibility that someone wanting to stir up trouble has digitally created an image of Monroe standing beside an image of Mussolini, and that Mr Hyde has seen something like this and not realised it is a piece of chicanery.

    What it seems I can conclude from My Hyde's, Webb's and Monroe's comments above, is that there exists somewhere a genuine picture of Monroe posing in a brown shirt and tie - items that one might also find in the Death In June fascist fetish-wear trunk - in front of an image of the political dictator Josip Tito. While it is not untrue to describe Tito as an anti-fascist in his early life, Monroe is being disingenuous about him, since Tito is best remembered today as the authoritarian ruler of the former Yugoslavia. It is difficult to understand why Monroe who states unequivocally he would never pose in front of a picture of the Italian dictator Mussolini (who we should not forget started his political life as an anarcho-syndicalist, not as a fascist) is nonetheless happy to boast about posing in front of an image of the Yugoslavian dictator Tito. Since both these dictators were reactionary scumbags, Monroe's ridiculous posturing about 'borderline libel' is difficult to take seriously - alongside everything else he has to say.

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  34. Part 4.

    Monroe's eagerness to draw - what for the time being at least - are unwarranted conclusions about exactly which photograph Mr Hyde is invoking, might also be taken as circumstantial evidence that he deliberately constructed this image as a quite conscious piece of trickery - in the hope that it might elicit the response Monroe and Webb claim it did from Mr Hyde (I would however stress again it is far from clear that Mr Hyde is talking about the same image as Monroe and Webb). Monroe's antics and rhetoric with regard to totalitarian regimes and their dictators might also be taken as indicative of his less than critical fan adoration of the extremely problematic NSK and Laibach - and an a snapshot of why there is something deeply wrong with all of them.

    And as far as I know, no one writing or commenting on this blog is in a position to criminalise neo-folk or industrial culture - and personally I wouldn't want to - so Monroe's banging on about this is another pointless distraction from subjecting this pathetic genre to proper criticism.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Don't Be Another Neville Chamberlain23 Feb 2011 08:56:00

    A. M. says: "What worries me is that there are some who would like to criminalise it as such and who won't tolerate any ambiguity or seemingly any use whatsoever of certain categories. The simplistic 'all industrial music is fascism' attitude alienates and intimidates people."

    Could A.M. actually name someone who has claimed 'all industrial music is fascism'? And could he also name those he thinks are trying to criminalise it? It looks like A.M. is simply creating a cardboard opponent to knock down because he is unable to counter the arguments of those like Mr Hyde who are robust in stating their opposition to fascist tendencies within industrial culture.


    A.M. goes on to say: "It's almost as if some people... want to drive people into the arms of the right in order to then retrospectively claim they were right all along."

    Isn't this just the old and fallacious neo-folk fanboy argument that the anti-fascists are as bad as the fascists? It also looks like a smear designed to prevent open debate and forthright criticism of fascism. A.M. turns those who are vocal in their opposition to fascist tendencies within industrial culture into closet Nazis. Frankly I find it both disturbing and disgusting that A.M tires to transform anti-fascists into fascists with this cheap and baseless claim.

    A.M. also writes: "I can tell you that many people on the scene who came from or would otherwise be more to the Left are alienated by inaccurate and indiscriminate accusations against the scene. It needs to be accepted that people are capable of making autonomous judgements and their political tendencies don't flow automatically from the music they choose to listen to."

    This is ridiculous! After claiming that leftist criticism of industrial music pushes fans of this genre rightwards, A.M. wants us to trust the autonomous judgements of all music fans. If A.M. actually trusted the autonomous judgements of industrial music fans then he wouldn't be attempting to stifle debate with the false claim that leftist criticism of fascist manipulation within the industrial scene is counterproductive (an argument that echoes those of the openly fascist and racist Oneiric Imperium who posted above on this thread, 28 October 2010). A.M. can't have this both ways and expect anyone exercising critical judgement to take him seriously.

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  36. Vera Bremerton23 Feb 2011 12:26:00

    @Strelnikov: your gratuitous insults only prove my point once more. I am deeply sorry for you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. why feel sorry for me? The moron sitting at your keyboard deserves more urgent attention. Can we conclude from your thoughtful contributions that you wouldn't use force, even if it were necessary? If so, what are you doing making comments on blogs - surely you should be out among your flock, raising the dead.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Part 1:
    Thanks for your comments John, here are some responses to them. Firstly; all the way through your posts you infer that I am writing about this scene as a `fan’, `fanboy’, `misguided fan’ etc and that I am delusional about the true nature of the scene. I certainly was a `fan' or at least an interested participant in the punk, post-punk, early industrial scene. My musical and aesthetic preferences then and now were more directly associated with Coil, Test Department, Laibach, Einsturzende Neubauten and early PTV than they were with DIJ and C93 but I did certainly go to gigs, buy albums and take interest in these bands roughly until the Wall of Sacrifice album by DIJ (1989). It was not until the late 1990s/early 2000s that I returned to this scene to look at its development. I was, and still am, more of a `fanboy' of a variety of music ranging from On U Sound, punk, Reggae, Break beat, electronica and so on. My chapter on Neo Folk discusses the emergence of this scene and its development as an influential but small music milieu and the musical trajectory of it and then its emergence, through the quotes, statements and observations of the 3 initial members of DIJ. There is then some discussion of Paganism, Heathensim etc and many questions thrown up about its political and philosophical reference points. I feel that the confusion on this blog is about my emphasis on its use of a complex variety of reference points e.g. Jean Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff, Sereny, Burroughs as well as the Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists, and my stating that this makes it unusual, very interesting and worthy of further study as a music scene. Whilst critics on this blog are suggesting that the scene is full of inadequate, illiterate and self aggrandized idiots they also want to claim that the scene is powerful, ideologically dangerous, evil and potentially harmful to parts of the population as it influences the development of fascist and new right politics. I would say that the truth is somewhere between these positions, that there are dangerous elements within it and also that there are genuinely intelligent engagements with some of the material referenced by this scene e.g. Autopsia, Nurse With Wound, Gae Bolg, Mother Destruction, recent 6 Comm etc. My chapter raises many questions and charts a development of `parts’ of this scene and suggests that further work should be done. Anton Shekhovtsov has indeed completed a very thorough and sophisticated piece of work on the political or apoliteic element of this scene and I think he has made a useful contribution to this debate.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Part 2:

    I am quite happy to accept criticism and engage in a dialogue but John, the emphasis of Mr Hyde’s piece is that I am engaged in a rightist political agenda. Here is a quote from his post:

    FOR, HOWEVER, I FEEL THAT YOU ARE LYING ABOUT YOUR SYMPATHIES - WHY ARE THERE SUCH GLOWING THANKS TO TONY WAKEFORD [HE IS FIRST IN THE LIST ] IN YOUR BOOK? - WHY ARE YOU IN TANDEM IN A SMALL ORGANISATION {I.C.R.N.} YOU HAVE SET UP WITH A MAN - THE MAN WHO POSTED THE ABOVE TEXT FOR YOU ON THE I.C.R.N. WEBSITE WHO THINKS IT FUNNY OR COOL TO DRESS UP IN A BROWN SHIRT AND TIE AND POSE IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF MUSSOLINI? [ALEXEI MUNROE] IS HE A PERSON YOU ARE HOPING TO CONVERT TO 'RIGHT THINKING'?

    My books acknowledgments section lists thanks in `glowing’ terms to my supervisors, other academics who helped with the text or helped me generally and my family. It lists the list of interviewees and thanks them non-descriptively; I’m not sure how that becomes `glowing thanks’? That then brings me to the picture in question. If you search for Alexei Monroe on the internet you will be directed to his blog Plural Machine where there is a picture of him standing in a shirt and tie in front of a picture of Tito. I think it is revealing that Mr Hyde immediately assumes that this is Mussolini as it shows that he has `framed’ his reference of Monroe in terms of Fascist positioning and not in any other way. This is clearly down to a section of the type of debate on this blog and others where there is a paucity of research beyond the initial pieces of work e.g. my chapter, Alexei’s picture, his book etc. I do not think he is referring to any other picture as this is the only one similar to the one that he describes and can be easily accessed.

    My obsession as you put it with `real names’ is not because I am a career academic but because those who use pseudonyms cannot be held responsible for their comments and can be a different person every time they post. Mr Hyde can say what he likes and so can you without any context of who you are, where you are coming from and why you feel able to say what you have. I have to be responsible for my comments and work as I use my real name and am happy to engage in debate but I do so with people who can reference me, look me up andlook at other work I have done. With an anonymous critic this is not possible therefore there is no reference point for me to engage with. You suggest that I am a privileged bourgeois subject working within a privileged sector. To some extent that is true but if you know people who work in academia you will know that all labour is extensively exploited and utilized, that universities are highly top down managerial institutions, that academics often work 70+ hour weeks just to keep up with all the work they have to do let alone the work they are expected to engage in, that all arts and humanities subjects have effectively been privatized by the new government and you should know that I don’t make a living out of writing about this music scene, I make a living by teaching and administrating courses. My writing only benefits my position when published in Journals under the current Research Excellence Framework, books and chapters in edited collections are just part of our more general work. I have had a long journey into university work and only came to it late in life. I didn’t just move into it nor have a privileged upbringing but I’m sure that doesn’t interest you.

    So, in summary, I feel that this responds to some of the points you have made. I will probably try and answer some of the other points at a later date if I can. Regards, Peter Webb

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  40. A Wandering Jew23 Feb 2011 14:06:00

    To say one isn't qualified to objectively and academically comment on industrial because they're fans of the genre is like saying one can't objectively and academically comment on Nazis because they hate them.

    To see fascists where there aren't (which is my interpretation of a Kafkaesque monkey trial based on a picture of a man posing next to a picture of Tito) is the same (in principle, not in volume) as denying the Holocaust - a mirror image of distortion fueled by hate and obsession. Both concern and terrify me as a Jew living in Europe. There are real, blatant Nazis out there, and every moment you waste with this nonsense perpetuates the ongoing activities of the actual enemy.

    I'm relieved to see that there's at least one person (Strelnikov) who argues this blog's point of view reasonably.

    ReplyDelete
  41. It is *really* saddening to see obviously creative and smart minds at work in such a blatantly paranoid and manipulative way.
    "John Smith" is plainly a victim of postmodern confusion, constructing what he thinks to be arguments from pure conjecture, eventually resulting in a circle argument:
    If there is no evidence of AM posing with Mussolini, this can only mean that AM has cobnsciously suppressed that particular image" -- to paraphrase him.
    Yeah, THAT's what I'd call serious academic research.
    (note: IRONY)

    Seriously, what you people are doing here is effectively to deconstruct you as eaily blindfolded and double-tricked fools if you seriously believe AM and/or PW are advancing or in any way supporting rightist positions, or even try to smear their academic laurels. By doing so you're just making fools out of yourselves. But, if that's what you want to be, who am I to keep you from doing so?
    Obviously just another pseudo-academic neofolk-fanboy who happens to write about the genre he happens to know from a close perspective.

    Even if answering to the paranoid ramblings of "John Smith" (what a pathetic alias, Herr Heimat!) justifies them as "arguments", let me say this much:
    It is commonly accepted (academic) practice, and even a necessity, to *know the field of research* you're writing about -- something you attest to both PW and AM while simultaneously trying to put that very fact down by saying that they're merely "fanboys". Applying such a miniscule "argument" and at the same time demanding "objectivity" shows that you're hopelessly encapsuled in the mental patterns of pre-Heisenberg structuralism.
    My condolences, John Smith, but in spite of the excessive length of your comments, you're disqualifying yourself in every paragraph.

    Let me get back to the problem of circle arguments:
    Both Strelnikov and Mr "Smith" fal into that trap -- while demanding that neofolk & industrial should be academic subject matter and thoroughly researched in order to uncover any actual right-wing activity therein, you simultaneously smear the very people who engage in that enterprise. That puts you on the same level as whacked-out conspiracy-theorists who claim that every counter-evidence must have been put in place by the all-permeating conspiracy they're warning about.
    Meaning, every valid argument made against the existence of said hypothetical conspiracy can be turned into "proof" that it exists.
    A vicious circle that says more about the psychic make-up of those who use it than those under attack.
    Which is why I want this *comment* to be understood as what it is: a comment, not an argument, because I do not consider this thread a serious discussion/debate, but a forum of slander and unconfirmed rumours -- I mean, AM and the "Mussolini"-picture, come on -- how on earth could I take this seriously??

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  42. part 2:

    And yes, I *am* a cultural scientist, working in Germany at the Nazi party-rallye-grounds and other institutions dealing with 3rd Reich-history. And while you may not be aware of the extent and quality of Germany's dealing with the past, I can assure you that after spending almost 2-and a half decades "in the field" of apcalyptic folk, dark wave/post-goth/industrial/whatever you like to call it, while having been active in antifa-circles myself (who at the time were heavily into DIJ, hahaha -- know your enemy???) I have -- despite my personal involvement with the "usual suspects" -- NOT turned into a jew-hating, racist and/or nationalist Nazi, or an elitist pseudo-Gramscian traditionalist or any such nonsense you're keen on supposing about people you haven't even met yet.
    Get your data straight, and then improve on your argumentation, and I'd participate in any serious debate at once.

    Strelnikov, let me thank you for suggesting this; it is long overdue, and all my attempts to create such debates in the 1990s were met with indignation and censorship attempts from the *left* -- particularly annoying as I considered myself to be rather left leaning, but as soon as you become too anarchistic for the left, you'll find out how left-wing fascism works -- which, all too sadly, exists and is based in self-righteousness of the worst kind: the belief to represent a superior position; to be one of the "good guys".
    That exactly this is what's been under attack from groups like DIJ etc is what most unreflected criticism can't deal with as it represents a semantic attack on the very basis of their supposed moral superiority.

    But, as I said, I'm dealing with this rubbish now since over 2 decades, and I'm tired of it.
    If there are valid arguments, I might be back. But this here is mostly a pathetic recreation of fruitless debates we chewed through in Germany during the better part of the 90ies.
    It is utterly pointless and boring.

    Good day to all, and thank you for wasting your time reading this.

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  43. PART 1

    First of all I turn to 'Mr. Smith' as you appear to have an especially weak grasp on reality. (If you're one of the rare people here to use your actual name then I'm happy to apologise).

    You accuse us of being careerist for using our names. Isn't any act of publication 'careerist' or self-aggrandising? What is your ethically-approved approach to this moral dilemma?

    You refer to me as a 'fan'. If you mean that I see the value in aspects of the industrial methodology and the work it produces that's true. I'm the first to admit that industrial isn't a 'clean' genre and has some particular flaws but if you'd like to name me an innocent style of music that hasn't been appropriated for the ends of power or pacification I look forward to hearing about it. If I were as uncritical as you paint me I'd hardly enter into this debate. Industrial wears its corruption on its sleeve (for good or ill) and allows people to choose whether to engage with what we could call 'contaminated and stolen' imagery.

    Peter Webb is an academic and holds a university position. I do not and never have done: I am certainly not an 'academic' in the sense that you claim and if career rather than my interests were my primary motivation then I'm going about things in a pretty strange way.

    Not however as strange as your reality-defying doublethink. The gist of what you're saying seems to be that I deliberately misconstrued the following QUOTE as referring to myself:

    WHY ARE YOU IN TANDEM IN A SMALL ORGANISATION {I.C.R.N.} YOU HAVE SET UP WITH A MAN - THE MAN WHO POSTED THE ABOVE TEXT FOR YOU ON THE I.C.R.N. WEBSITE WHO THINKS IT FUNNY OR COOL TO DRESS UP IN A BROWN SHIRT AND TIE AND POSE IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF MUSSOLINI? [ALEXEI MUNROE]

    Can you explain to me how it's possible not to take this as referring to myself? The photo appears on the right-hand side of the I.C.R.N. site and has been there since 2009 without anyone remarking on it. I can also tell you that it will remain there and you can continue to spin webs of fabrication around it.

    On the one hand you talk about accuracy and the need for serious debate you claim persons unknown have 'digitally created an image of Monroe standing beside an image of Mussolini, and that Mr Hyde has seen something like this and not realised it is a piece of chicanery.'


    Who was responsible for this? The illuminati? P2? The FSB? Wouldn't I already be aware of this? I've never seen such a photo (which would have to be faked) and if I did I'd challenge it in whatever context it appeared.

    You then go even further and claim it's possible that I myself

    'deliberately constructed this image as a quite conscious piece of trickery'

    So, what you're saying is that a careerist academic deliberately posted an image of himself with Tito a year and a half ahead in order to entrap someone whose existence he wasn't aware of into claiming it was Mussolini! You talk about 'piss-poor research' and then you make a flat-earth, 2+2=5 claim like this! Do you seriously believe this? An example of 'unwarranted conclusions' par exellence! You say that 'you wouldn't trust Monroe to tell the truth about anything', but why should we trust someone willing to produce such nonsense? Beyond risible.

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  44. PART 2

    As for Tito, he was, as you say a dictator. Yet he defied not just Mussolini and Hitler but also Stalin. People enjoyed more freedom in Yugoslavia than in the Eastern bloc and there were some areas of significant progress under his flawed rule. I'll also say clearly that I'd rather have lived under his rule than under the rule of someone such as you, notwithstanding the fact that you do (bravely) concede that you have no desire to criminalise the genres as such. However it's only in the last two days of debate that I've seen anyone on this blog make such a clear statement. Oppose and criticise by all means but don't slur or invent fantastic conspiracy theories.

    You say that Peter Webb's comments:

    'reveal his inability to understand that many people live, behave and think, differently to him.'

    Yet this is precisely the message that you and others give out in relation to industrial and neo-folk. It may not be what you want but this is what
    alienates and troubles so many on 'our' side of the debate.

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  45. Alexander Nym says: "If there is no evidence of AM posing with Mussolini, this can only mean that AM has cobnsciously suppressed that particular image" (sic)

    I don't claim there is necessarily any image of A.M. posing with a portrait of Mussolini, I merely point out that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility one could have been created digitally without Monroe's knowledge and that neither I, he nor Peter Webb, know exactly what Mr Hyde is invoking when he talks about such an image. It is therefore wrong to conclude without qualification that Mr Hyde is talking about an image of A.M. posing in front of an image of Tito. It is evident from the replies to my comments above that neither you nor Webb are prepared to take on board and deal with what I actually say. You are using lies and distortions to create a cardboard opponent who isn't real and therefore doesn't threaten you. This makes you rather like Monroe, who is described as doing something similar in a comment above.

    I will also reiterate that I consider Anton Shekhovtsov's work on neo-folk and industrial culture to be academically sound. My understanding is that Shekhovtsov comes from a background of engagement with industrial culture, but he has managed to separate himself from his fan interests in his academic work and is therefore able to complete it successfully. The problem with Webb and Monroe is that they have not done this.

    Returning to Nym, you state you are leaving a comment, not an argument. It seems to me that neither you, Webb nor Monroe have any arguments with which to defend your positions on neo-folk. All we get is bluster.

    Webb for example says: "I feel that the confusion on this blog is about my emphasis on its use of a complex variety of reference points e.g. Jean Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff, Sereny, Burroughs as well as the Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists, and my stating that this makes it unusual, very interesting and worthy of further study as a music scene." Come on! I - and I'd assume many others here - read Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff and Burroughs when I was teenage. This is kiddie stuff! It is not unusual at all - you'd have heard the same writers discussed by, for example, the Derek Jarman circle in the 1980s, and they weren't particularly sophisticated but managed to get their art films taken seriously. I'm sure many of those drawn here have also read serious works on the Holocaust and child abuse, although not necessarily Gitta Sereny on these particular subjects. There is also plenty of evidence that those blogging and commenting here are familiar with the writings and ideology of the "Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists". Webb's assertion that these reference points would - and indeed have - created confusion among people commenting (and even those who are actually writing the blogs) is untenable.

    I also wonder exactly what those at MIT Press who published Alexei Monroe's book Interrogation Machine think of him promoting himself by posing in front of a picture of the long discredited dictator Tito? It seems quite probable that they don't even know about it. Monroe himself might be shocked by the type of responses this piece of idiccy could elicit from more senior career academics.

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  46. @ Webb and Monroe: I think this line your are taking on Mr Hyde/John Smith using pseudonyms is frankly ridiculous. Why knowing someone's name is in any way relevant to the arguments they make is beyond me. When someone makes a point or asks a question on Question Time for example they are not named, they are referred to as the man with the orange tie or the woman in the red blouse. No one would argue that their points are invalid because we don't know their names or anything about them.

    As for the Monroe picture, I can completely understand how Hyde thought at a glance that the photograph was of Mussolini, for this reason. Monroe is wearing a brown shirt and tie, and has a militaristic short back and sides, uniform of the Fascist fan boy throughout the neo-folk world, and one of those knowing little signifiers that they trade in. It doesn't make anyone a Fascist of course but given that Monroe takes an "academic" interest in such things he has to be a complete moron not to understand how such a uniform is going to be read.

    The thing is it is simply depressing to get drawn into such petty arguments. But because Webb and Monroe obfuscate one gets drawn away from Hyde and Smith's well-made points about their lack of academic rigour and critical distance. On the whole this blog has had a high standard of discourse with good points made on both sides, but all too often important points get obscured by fools like Nym who blather on about Leftists being "self-righteous" or moan about "left-wing Fascism" in the most self-righteous tone imaginable. Nym has absolutely no credibility when he claims to have been involved with Antifa (who by the way are entirely aware of the Fascist thread that runs through the neo-folk and Industrial scene and are active in fighting it) and then goes on to jeer at anyone on this blog who believes that the problem exists and should be opposed, as Fascism everywhere should. Nym, like many other apologists for the latent Fascism in neo-folk spends a lot of time rubbishing any opinions he doesn't like, and then finishes by saying the whole discussion is a waste of time. Which begs the question: Why Nym are you here at all then, boring us all rigid?

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  47. There's an important distinction to be made here between a 'fan' and a 'fanboy'. A 'fan' is someone who is keen (to the point of 'fanaticism') on something (a band or genre, or whatever), and such enthusiasm is compatible with objectivity. I'd go further than that and say that being a fan is a distinct advantage in this area, because it at least implies some knowledge of what makes a particular cultural phenomenon tick (though it doesn't guarantee objectivity, witht he right methodology and philosophy, it can make a positive difference). A 'fanboy', however, is someone whose critical sense has been blunted or distorted because of their enthusiasm, and the term therefore denotes precisely a lack of objectivity. Therefore the complaint is not that people who are keen on Industrial music are unfit to comment on it, but that objectivity has been squandered or undermined because of a fundamentally uncritical attitude. Making such a charge stick means showing that their research is in fact partial, tendentious, biased, etc. (as Msrs Hyde, Smith, Spot, Strelnikov, et al have tried, in different ways, to do). It is that claim that has being made specifically about Peter Webb, with reference to his published work (see my original article, which started this controversy, as well as subsequent comments, for details). Regarding Alexei Monroe, I'd like to read his book before saying anything in detail, but I suspect that anyone who sees posing in military styled garb in front of Marshal Tito is going to have insurmountable difficulties in making sound judgements regarding a group (Laibach) whose art hinges around the deployment of such symbolism.

    I don't believe for an instant that either Monroe or Webb are rightists of any kind, or sympathetic to the political aims of the radical right, and I have never said as much. I do, however, believe that the combination of postmodern philosophy and Bordeian sociology (or something close) that, certainly, Webb relies on, creates a serious problem, because it makes it impossible to orientate oneself correctly regarding the political significance. The same is true for the many academics who employ such methods in researching popular culture (Frith and Hebdige's dismal school of pop culture studies, for example), but the problem is made much more telling when we are discussing an area of culture in where totalitarian and, specifically, radical rightist ideologies provide the symbolic language that the culture employs. The worst you can say about Simon Frith is a slave to the mass media and culture industries, and he looks like a completely slackjawed, feeble idiot when he celebrates the Pet Shop Boys as the pinnacle of modern music. But writing a book about neo-folk based on the same methodologies leads to far bigger problems. Essentially, it makes it impossible to place events in the correct political context, since the mores, outlook, symbolism, etc., of the groups is taken as a given, and not critically interogated or placed in a wider context. Thus we get to ehar a lot about the self-understanding and self-image (in actual fact, propaganda) of the artists, a lot about the subjective responses of fans, about the micro-economies at work, etc., but nothing that places the ideas of the protagonists into a political or philosophical context (hence there is far more in Webb's book about what, eg., Wakeford's ideas mean to him, than there is about what those ideas are, or where they came from).

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  48. (cont'd)

    So, my argument is not cicular in the slightest: I am not calling for more rigorous study, better research, etc., and then decrying those who conduct it on principle because they've got too close to the subject matter. To me, the problem with the ICRN position is not that it is insufficiently academically rigorous or neutral, but that it is actually typical of academic research into popular culture - but this is made much worse because of the explosive nature of the ideas they are dealing with. The problem is not that Webb has fallen away fromt he high academic standards of those who founded his discipline (Frith, Hebdige), but theat in applying that method to neo-folk he proves decisively (and spectacularly) that sociology is not fit for purpose, explains nothing of interest to anyone not employed in the marketing industry, and, ultimately, when applied to certain aspects of the culture, is politically disastrous, since it systematically wrenches the understanding of fascism out of the only context (class struggle politics) in which it can be made sense of. In short, immanent critique is for idiots - in the original Greek sense, of someone who detaches themselves from society as a whole ('idios'), just as academia is one pole of the social division of labour that divides hand and heart - and therefore perfectly suited to academia.

    We live is such a highly rationalistic society that people forget that Fascism is more than a set of ideas that you can like or dislike, agree or disagree with, vote for or against. Fascism is an entire worldview with its own psychic roots as well as its economic and political causes. Fascism also essentially involves fascist aesthetics - you can't simply divorce the aesthetics from the politics, as if only the most abstract corners of the brain were involved (the intellect), and not the senses - so it is absurd to pretend that you can pick up the aesthetics of fascism and play with them as if they were themselves neutral. But, of course, postmodernist ideology believes that you can do precisely that, and that symbols, etc., are entirely tractable and inherently meaningless (ie. can be turned to any meaning at all). The result is that academic socoiology can get funding, since it provides content-neutral information useful to people who want to sell cultural products, but avoids causing trouble by refusing to make real political jusdgements. Entire methodologies have been constructed to support these aims.

    Alexei - I realise that you aren't employed as an academic. I also realise that there are individual academics who cut across the grain of academia with great results. But the approach of ICRN (or as much of it as I have seen) concords precisely with the academic approaches I have tried to describe, and since the blurb for your book describes you as having earned a PhD studying NSK, I don't think it too far fetched to suppose that your attitude might have been moulded just as I describe. All the evidence from the IRCN makes it look that way, but, as I have said before, I await reading your book before getting into the details.

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  49. Part 1.

    After quoting Mr Hyde on a photograph described as being of ALEXEI MUNROE, A.M asks the ridiculous rhetorical question: "Can you explain to me how it's possible not to take this as referring to myself?"

    I didn't suggest it wasn't a photography of Monroe that was being invoked, my point was simply that it wasn't clear that it was one of him standing in front of a portrait of Tito as he claimed. Monroe's rhetorical question is idiotic. No one is saying Mr Hyde isn't invoking a picture of him, the question is what picture?

    AM continues: "On the one hand you talk about accuracy and the need for serious debate you claim persons unknown have 'digitally created an image of Monroe standing beside an image of Mussolini.'"

    This is an outright lie, what I say is that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that this could have happened. I do NOT say it did happen. My sentence is clearly constructed to indicate that this is speculation on my part, not that such an image necessarily exists. This is exactly what I said: "I wouldn't see it as beyond the bounds of possibility that someone wanting to stir up trouble has digitally created an image of Monroe standing beside an image of Mussolini..." This is quite different to what Monroe claims I said above.

    Ignoring what I actually said, Monroe continues with his diversionary bluster: "Who was responsible for this? The illuminati? P2? The FSB? Wouldn't I already be aware of this? I've never seen such a photo (which would have to be faked) and if I did I'd challenge it in whatever context it appeared."

    Evidently Monroe feels moved to challenge it even if it only appears as a piece of speculation and no one it claiming it is real.

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  50. Part 2.

    Monroe continues with his lies by claiming: "You then go even further and claim it's possible that I myself 'deliberately constructed this image as a quite conscious piece of trickery' "

    Not at all, Monroe is using the old and long discredited rhetorical trick of pulling a partial quotation and placing it a completely new context. What I say is: "Monroe's eagerness to draw - what for the time being at least - are unwarranted conclusions about exactly which photograph Mr Hyde is invoking, might also be taken as circumstantial evidence that he deliberately constructed this image as a quite conscious piece of trickery - in the hope that it might elicit the response Monroe and Webb claim it did from Mr Hyde (I would however stress again it is far from clear that Mr Hyde is talking about the same image as Monroe and Webb)."

    The reference to Monroe and Webb makes it clear that I am invoking the picture of Monroe posing in front of a picture of Tito when I refer to a deliberately constructed piece of trickery. Based on his earlier comments I don't think even an inveterate liar like Monroe would now dare claim he didn't have a hand in the creation of a photo of him posing in front of a portrait of the dictator Tito. It certainly isn't beyond the bounds of possibility that said image was created as a trap to elicit just the response it did from someone critical of fascist and totalitarian tendencies in industrial culture such as Mr Hyde. I do not and would not claim that Mr Hyde was a specifically targeted victim of Monroe's, merely that the photograph may have been created for the purpose of attempting to humiliate someone with his views.
    I also wish to wholeheartedly apologise to Monroe for calling him a career academic, when I should have made a distinction between him and Webb by calling him a failed career academic. That's what I'd call someone like Monroe who has a PhD from Kent and a book published by the academic MIT Press and who runs a pseudo-academic forum in the form of the ICRN blog, but has no academic post. When I get it wrong I feel it is only right I should admit it. That said, I'm glad that once Monroe completed his worthless PhD that he hasn't been in a position to spread his rot and lies under the guise of teaching.

    So A.M. I'm big enough to admit I got it wrong when I called you a 'career academic' by omitting to qualify this with the term failed! Do you now have the guts to admit that virtually everything you've said on this thread is complete bollocks?

    Take for example your garbage about the dictator Tito: "People enjoyed more freedom in Yugoslavia than in the Eastern bloc and there were some areas of significant progress under his flawed rule..." Actually the former Yugoslavia was a part of the Eastern bloc throughout the cold war, so it is logically impossible for people to have enjoyed more freedom under Tito than in the Eastern bloc. It seems you understand nothing and are quite happy to make excuses for totalitarian regimes. What next, are you going to write about how you'd have rather lived in Italy under Mussolini than Germany under Hitler because it wasn't quite so bad? Dictators and totalitarian regimes are bad news and should always be opposed – and what the youths using sticks and stones did in defeating armed troops in eastern Libya in recent days is an inspiring example of this! Whereas lying scum like you who serve as apologists for dictators deserve to be treated with contempt.

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  51. How heartening to see that Alexander Nym has used his findings as a 'cultural scientist' responsibly by adding to the sum of human knowledge the cassette release 'Scenes We'd Like To See' by his erstwhile performance project Gerechtigkeits Liga – the "radical graphic content" of which includes images of concentration camp victims piled high, and which can be viewed on the relevant Discogs page.

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  52. A Wandering Jew24 Feb 2011 09:11:00

    The importance of the Tito lesson is not to claim that Yugoslavia was a perfect utopian society, but to counter imperialist, capitalist prejudices regarding the Iron Curtain as some monolith. Just as one example there was interesting activity in socialist youth centres where to an extent punk was tolerated - possibly more so than for example how it was received in democratic England when it first emerged.

    The interest in the socialist east is not an interest in dictatorship but an interest in the promise and pitfalls of utopias. Personally as someone growing up on anarcho-punk's ideas and aesthetics, I have a fascination with utopian aesthetics in general, and an interest in their mobilising power - for better and for worse. I think the use of symbols and design is empowering and inspiring, my main example would be the Crass symbol or the circled A. I don't think there is anything wrong in using those, on the contrary I tend to think ideas must be carried in sound and vision.

    Understanding this fascination and furthermore criticising its dangers not from a pretense of detachment but out of an understanding of its mobilising power is potent and crucial. This power isn't 'fascist' - there is a strand of aesthetics I'd term 'monumental'. It has been part of human imagination since the dawn of time, it outlined many liberating movements, and yes, it was also used by two certain regimes for about 12 years in the 20th Century.

    The interest in these aesthetics either monumental or utopian is related to ongoing political and existential questions regarding the possibility or impossibility of realising radical agendas, of that threshold stance between a promise and its fullfillment. It is a position of engagement, not of moralist puritanism. It does not pretend to stand aside or above. It does not reduce experience to encoded 'scientific' theory (neither does it lazily wander into mysticism). I consider this engaged position the only valid departure point for political critique and as such in no need to be apologetic in front of self-appointed 'class struggle' tribunals

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  53. Vera Bremerton24 Feb 2011 10:31:00

    @John Smith: "I would however stress again it is far from clear that Mr Hyde is talking about the same image as Monroe and Webb"

    Mr. Smith, have you visited the ICRN blog recently? If so, you must have noticed that there is only one picture that your fellow Mr. Hyde could be talking about. I am inclined to think that you are the only person who thinks the identification of that image is "far from clear". Is there anyone else among the readers of this debate who has doubts about this issue?

    However, I do agree with you that "it certainly isn't beyond the bounds of possibility that" someone might want to produce such an image as "an act of trickery" - but that would only be done in order to unlawfully smear Mr. Monroe's reputation. Quite a clever idea, Mr. Smith, thanks for your suggestion.

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  54. @John Smith: to claim that "...Actually the former Yugoslavia was a part of the Eastern bloc throughout the cold war, so it is logically impossible for people to have enjoyed more freedom under Tito than in the Eastern bloc." means that you have missed the 1948 split between Stalin and Tito and the resulting expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform. Thus, after 1948 Yugoslavia was no more part of the eastern bloc. You can read about these facts in the works by Jože Pirjevec. Indeed, Tito was a dictator and following the 1948 events he suppressed many of the "Cominformists" sending them to Goli otok (Gulag in Dalmatian style). Other persecutions of internal opposition happened in '60 and even '70, but by no means can his regime be compared to other eastern Europe regimes. Having lived on the border with Slovenia (one of the republic of former Yugoslavia) for all my life, and since I visited Slovenia on almost weekly basis, meeting family friends or relatives, spending holidays, traveling, etc, I know what I'm talking about. Crossing the border between Italy and Yugoslavia was nothing compared with the crossing of the border between Yugoslavia and Hungary (part of the eastern bloc) or between Austria and Czechoslovakia. The people in Yugoslavia were free to say whatever they wanted, as long as it was not meant too seriously. They had no problems traveling inside the state or outside of it. The great contradictions inside the Yugoslav third way (the regime was always presenting himself as a people's democracy, trying to mark the difference with the eastern communist countries) made possible the circulation of books, music, and up to a certain point even ideas. And there was economic growth and development which resulted also in cultural and intellectual progress, which were, together with the economic crisis of the early '80, the driving forces for the end of socialism in Yugoslavia. To use logic is a fine thing, but the knowledge of facts is more important.

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  55. Apologies for my silence, I try not to spend my entire life online. Mr. Smith let's cut to the chase: rather than admitting that someone on your side of the argument is historically illiterate and ever-ready to cast the first stone you tie yourself in ever more spectacular knots, creating ever more fantastic theories which are beyond parody. You shift ground constantly, trying simultaneously to maintain the moral upper hand and to prevent any trace of reality creeping into your world. You appear to be a specialist in gratuitous insults and to enjoy feuding for the sake of it, your discourse seems strangely familiar, it reminds me of a certain self-publicising 'novelist'. His name escapes me at present but I'm sure it will come to me. Congratulations on the total success of your 'reality strike', you appear to have achieved a 100% turnout. I really wonder what have you actually succeeded at beyond internet feuds and generating fantastic theories? Use your real name and we'll be able to assess you fairly.

    Your ignorance about Yugoslavia is spectacular but not remotely surprising. After 1948 Yugoslavia broke with Stalin and was never a member of the Warsaw Pact. It was a non-aligned state with a surprisingly liberal cultural policy. READ something about it. Have you lived in ex-Yugoslavia, talked to people there? Even if you have you'll surely have self- or pre-selected people who'll confirm your prejudices. You are immune to reality and I really do take it as a badge of honour to be called a liar by the likes of you.

    Now for the famous 'brown' shirt. It's actually khaki green, bought at the far-right clothes shop H&M. I don't own a brown shirt. I will admit though on another day you might have seen me wearing a black shirt, on another a blue one, on another a red one, another a grey one, on other days a T-shirt featuring a Red Star etc., are you going to define me politically on the basis of each of those? No, because it doesn't fit the story you've already created.

    As for the haircut issue and my wider image. Yes, I look the industrial part. I'm aware I may be judged for it and prepared to take that risk. In fact, the kind of simplistic reactions it produces only make me more inclined to stick to it. Why deform or conceal my own tastes in order to appease a self-appointed stylistic police? On some days I wear black garb which makes me more or less indistinguishable from an autonomen or a squat-techno type (a scene I've spent far more time around than the neofolk scene). There are no shortage of people with skinhead cuts on your side of the arguments. Are they all therefore neos? No, even if some behave in a pretty fascistic, authoritarian manner.

    You can criticise the choice of industrial image but if you're going to make categorical political judgements based on that then there's a long list of people you'll need to condemn after me. Many of the 'arguments' being presented here are not worth engaging with in detail but I now see this continuing this debate as an anti-authoritarian imperative. Most of the people I know on the London industrial scene are anti-authoritarian people able to handle complex ideas, ambivalence and a stance which exposes them to fire by both sides (when I presented a Slovene TV documentary on Laibach I received homophobic and other abuse from a right-wing American industrialist for not embodying the rightist male archetype he thought should be associated with the group). Watch the Laibach documentary 'Divided States of America' and you'll see the range of interpretations that Laibach and by extension the wider industrial genre generates.

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  56. Strelnikov, your contribution is as ever far more lucid than the other 'anti-I.C.R.N.' contributions. I will ask an honest question: from which historical (or fictional) Strelnikov have you taken your alias? And what do you intend to communicate by this choice?

    When you read my work you'll see that I use very little from the Anglo-American cultural studies school, for some of the reasons you describe. I believe (some) parts of the industrial scene to have produced sophisticated work which is worthy of discussion and functions as a valid (if painful) form of sophisticated critique. It is even possible that my advocacy of these artists isn't sufficiently neutral but it is I hope grounded in historical fact and a deep knowledge not just of the scene but of the wider local cultural contexts. There are other parts of industrial which have degenerated badly into fetishistic transgression for transgression's sake and which have clumsily and senselessly toyed with Fascist imagery.

    Let's remember that it's only recently that industrial and neofolk have been accepted as a serious subject worthy of deeper investigation. We are part of the first wave of this and more debate will now follow. We have taken a risk in exposing ourselves to the kind of abuse seen in some of these exchanges because we believe it's a debate worth having. I am sure there would be more people involved in this but they prefer not to enter the fray, perhaps out of fears for career or even for personal safety. Nevertheless, if and when others do dare to enter it then I'll welcome alternative critical interpretations and views on the subject.

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  57. @Wandering Jew's metaphysical waffle about the dialectics of 'utopia and it's frustration' provides perfect cover for sucking up to Dictators and dictatorial regimes by blending everything into a hopeless, ahistorical idealist fog in which opposites collapse into each other in the mind, black becomes white, and dictators become frustrated messiahs (as Hegel said: "in the dark night, all cows are grey")

    Instead of talking about "the promise and pitfalls of utopias", why not look instead at the real world and talk about the Russian Revolution and the post-war uprisings in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and about how they drowned in blood by Stalinist thugs like Tito. The minor disagreements between bureaucrats (such as those between Stalin and Tito, or Stalin and Mao, or Mao and Enver Hoxha) have tactical implications, but not strategic or philosophical significance. They are just sqabbles between sections of the global ruling class, between people who have simply divergent interests in how they go about exploiting their populations. The ruling class are "a band of warring brothers", and they have family squabbles - that's all.

    Playing around with teenage, cod-romantic ideas about the dialectics of utopia and it's frustration makes the defeat of utopia appear metaphysically certain, whitewashes the counter-revolutionary role of, eg., the Stalinists, and terminates with our intellectual class prostrating themselves before images of dictators (though, to be fair, at least these images provide us with a neat symbol and summary of the role of the modern academic).

    Also hidden inside this idealism is the lie that fascism, like - in a certain sense - communism, somehow began as a utopian movement. It did not - in every case fascist parties got off the ground as movements of explicit counter-revolution (the Fascisti, Brownshirts - indeed, the Freikorps). This argument glamorises fascism and provides yet another an apology for it.

    Stalinism and Fascism were - always and everywhere - totally reactionary ideologies.

    The other thing that strikes me about the argument is the complete aesthetic misjudgement in seeing Fascist aesthetics as in the tradition of monumental art - fascist art was kitsch from beginning to end: pseudo-monumntal, but monumentally kitsch.

    Similar thoughts struck me when reading Webb on neo-folk - the idea, promoted throughout the work, that the neo-folk cadre are highly sophisticated when it comes to matters of art and philosophy is laughable. As Mr Smith notes above, it's always the same references (Genet, Lautreamont - why, why is it always, predictably, Lautremont!? - Mirbeau, Gurdjieff, Burroughs, et al, but always with the same stupid misunderstandings of their work (cf. my comments about the treatment of Burroughs in Webb's book). The overiding impression is that these references are used simply to signify some abstract, outsider cleverness, rather than just the intellectual narcissism of the perennial bedroom poet maudits and schoolboy existentialists.

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  58. A Wandering Jew24 Feb 2011 12:55:00

    I am not least surprised by Strelnikov's response, it is a form of dogmatism I am familiar with. I would however justify it partly since I am also equally familiar with the problematic relativism that often stems from positions similar to the one I upheld. I feel distant from both.

    Like I stated clearly, my legacy is anarcho-punk's (probably not sufficiently analytically rigorous and committed of a paradigm for some). I am also a feminist who approaches these blog-based macho mud-slinging competitions in much apprehension and considerable disgust (take a wild guess - besides Vera we're all disgruntled white men here), and most importantly to me, I'm offspring of Holocaust survivors, therefore the totality of the atrociousness of dictatorship need not be pointed out to me by class struggle strangers on the Interwebz. Again, my interest in what I've stated I'm interested in has little to do with what Strelnikov accuses me of, yet I understand why he might do so in light of a discourse full of off-hand relativists I am wary of myself. Hopefully I'll have more time to explain myself later on.

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  59. @ Vera Bremerton, you ask "Mr. Smith, have you visited the ICRN blog recently?"

    No I haven't.

    You go on to say if I had looked at this blog recently (which I haven't) I "..must have noticed that there is only one picture that your fellow Mr. Hyde could be talking about. I am inclined to think that you are the only person who thinks the identification of that image is "far from clear". Is there anyone else among the readers of this debate who has doubts about this issue?"

    This line of pseudo-argument illustrates one of the things that is wrong with the propaganda that emanates from the ICRN blog/Webb axis, you (and they - if you are not part of ICRN) work from assumptions that you/they fail to qualify. Here is what Mr Hyde says about the ICRN blog and the picture:

    "WHY ARE YOU IN TANDEM IN A SMALL ORGANISATION {I.C.R.N.} YOU HAVE SET UP WITH A MAN - THE MAN WHO POSTED THE ABOVE TEXT FOR YOU ON THE I.C.R.N. WEBSITE WHO THINKS IT FUNNY OR COOL TO DRESS UP IN A BROWN SHIRT AND TIE AND POSE IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF MUSSOLINI? [ALEXEI MUNROE]..."

    As I pointed out before, Mr Hyde does not say where we can see the picture he is invoking. If he'd said it was on the ICRN blog then I'd have gone there to see which picture or pictures most closely matched the description he gave. You are assuming he is referring to a photo on the ICRN blog, Mr Hyde does not say he is.

    I have never denied the possibility that this is the picture Mr Hyde is invoking. All I am saying is that we require further information from him to determine that. In the meantime I have no objections to people stating they believe it to be or it appears to be the picture Mr Hyde is invoking. But it will remain an assumption unless Mr Hyde unequivocally states it was this picture he was describing. So far he hasn't.

    One of the problems with the ICRN axis is that it expects people to accept as true whatever it says without offering any proof. One could call this a totalitarian mindset and it doesn't particularly surprise me to find it dovetailing with Monroe's attraction to a dictator like Tito and the kitsch art practices of NSK. I would however stress that as I've said above, the picture of Monroe posing in front of Tito may or may not be the one Mr Hyde is invoking - I'm not saying it isn't, all I'm saying we don't know for certain that it is. If you can learn not to make assumptions like this then I won't have wasted my time replying to you.

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  60. John Smith wrote

    “Webb for example says: "I feel that the confusion on this blog is about my emphasis on its use of a complex variety of reference points e.g. Jean Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff, Sereny, Burroughs as well as the Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists, and my stating that this makes it unusual, very interesting and worthy of further study as a music scene." Come on! I - and I'd assume many others here - read Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff and Burroughs when I was teenage. This is kiddie stuff! It is not unusual at all - you'd have heard the same writers discussed by, for example, the Derek Jarman circle in the 1980s, and they weren't particularly sophisticated but managed to get their art films taken seriously. I'm sure many of those drawn here have also read serious works on the Holocaust and child abuse, although not necessarily Gitta Sereny on these particular subjects. There is also plenty of evidence that those blogging and commenting here are familiar with the writings and ideology of the "Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists". Webb's assertion that these reference points would - and indeed have - created confusion among people commenting (and even those who are actually writing the blogs) is untenable.” (also this is relevant given Strelnikov's last post)

    It is strange that you suggest that I am directing the association with these books at you and others who read this blog. I am talking about people within that particular scene who have been drawn to these reference points which are then also processed alongside fascist references. To say that this stuff is `kiddie stuff’ and `not unusual at all’ is also odd and suggests a very privileged upbringing or at least an education that was middle class and/or someone who moved in a bohemian or art based circles? If you look at Jean Genet for example, his book `Prisoner of Love’ and his essays: “The Palestinians”, "The Black and the Red" (1971), "The Tenacity of American Blacks" (1977), Four Hours in Shatila (Quatre heures à Chatila) (1982) all give a strong analysis and commentary as well as a poetic account of the Palestinian struggle, the Black Panthers, Algerian immigrants and their brutal treatment by French Police and documenting his support for Huey Newton, George Jackson and Angela Davis. So I don’t think that this is `kiddie stuff’ at all and a lot of kids who group up on housing estates or council estates who became involved in Punk and then might have been drawn to Industrial wouldn’t have encountered this material at all until they found reference to it through some of these musicians. It seems as though the taste culture that you inhabit may be a very different class culture that you presume people involved in this scene and others e.g. the punk scene inhabit. That isn’t something I am criticizing you for just something you should acknowledge.

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  61. Strelnikov says:

    “I do, however, believe that the combination of postmodern philosophy and Bordeian sociology (or something close) that, certainly, Webb relies on, creates a serious problem, because it makes it impossible to orientate oneself correctly regarding the political significance.”

    “But writing a book about neo-folk based on the same methodologies leads to far bigger problems. Essentially, it makes it impossible to place events in the correct political context, since the mores, outlook, symbolism, etc., of the groups is taken as a given, and not critically interogated or placed in a wider context. Thus we get to ehar a lot about the self-understanding and self-image (in actual fact, propaganda) of the artists, a lot about the subjective responses of fans, about the micro-economies at work, etc., but nothing that places the ideas of the protagonists into a political or philosophical context (hence there is far more in Webb's book about what, eg., Wakeford's ideas mean to him, than there is about what those ideas are, or where they came from).”

    Firstly, as I have said many times before I did not write a book on neo-folk but a chapter in a book that deals with a variety of music scenes which you don’t seem to want to comment on – fair enough. Secondly you say that a combination of postmodern and `Bourdieusian’ sociology makes it impossible for me to “orientate oneself correctly regarding the political significance.” Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical ideas probably best expressed in the `Weight of the World’, `Distinction’ and `The Logic of Practice’ give a lot of significance to the individual voice; not to privilege it, but to find out where it deviates from structure and provides either a reflection of ideology or a self-creative challenge to it. You seem to think that individual voices are only concerned with presenting propaganda, that may be partially right but it is not the complete picture. You also assert that I can’t place events in their `correct’ political context which for you is the context of class struggle in a developed Marxist sense. I don’t think that is the only context of politics and that is where we will disagree. We could discuss that here but I don’t think you are actually interested in a discussion from the replies that have been given. You also suggest that I work in the tradition of Frith and Hebdige. One of the problems of Hebdige’s work and of the wider CCCS was their privileging of structural influences on the individuals and communities they were analyzing, I am working in a tradition that tries to deal with the bringing together of structure and agency.

    The political significance of neo-folk, in its various forms, will be analyzed and discussed by others, this blog and myself. As I have also said, many times, my chapter was not an attempt to situate the political significance of the scene but to start to chart its development through some of the individuals involved. That was a starting point for further work. I won’t post again as I don’t think there is an actual debate here, there is some presentation of good information but the discussion hasn’t actually moved anywhere. All the best, PW.

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  62. Oh dear i have made a spelling mistake, shame on me! This should have been `grew up' rather than `group up':

    So I don’t think that this is `kiddie stuff’ at all and a lot of kids who group up on housing estates or council estates who became involved in Punk and then might have been drawn to Industrial wouldn’t have encountered this material at all until they found reference to it through some of these musicians.

    My point being that Genet and his work stands in contradiction to fascist reference points in this scene and would have an effect of making those references confusing and not easily straightforward in their reception.

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  63. Peter Webb says: "It seems as though the taste culture that you inhabit may be a very different class culture that you presume people involved in this scene and others e.g. the punk scene inhabit. That isn’t something I am criticizing you for just something you should acknowledge."

    Have you ever heard the phrase "teaching your granny to suck eggs"? I heard it a lot where I grew up.... What you have to say here is completely patronising not just to me but to the many kids I grew up with (and many more who I didn't grow up with)... it strikes me as bourgeois prejudice to think that there weren't and aren't teenagers on council estates who read books like this, not everyone read them but I know people who did....

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  64. @Peter Webb: For clarification, I don't at all conflate Frith and Hebdige with Bordieu, and, having read the methodological preface to your book, I know that you don't either, but see Bordieu's work as partly a correction to Frith's structuralism. I discussed and commented on all this in my original review.

    My point is that Frith and Bordieu alike have in common an objectivism which cannot capture the reality of cultural phenomena. This is despite the fact that Bordieu is presented as reintroducing the 'individual voice' (presumably, in your opinion, non-objective - whereas in reality the individual voice is also a moment of the social-psychic-material totality) as against the structural. But this is really just another variety of liberalism, in which focus on the commodity form of art is replaced by a focus on various, disjunct but overlapping, 'symbolic exchanges'. Like Frith's sociology, it produces a static, ahistorical picture - it's just that the categories have been upgraded.

    This is apparent in your statement;

    "my chapter was not an attempt to situate the political significance of the scene but to start to chart its development through some of the individuals involved"

    Presumably you consider this deferral of politics to be methodologically sound, whereas I think that such a view abstracts precisely from the political context in which neo-folk individuals exists, in favour of talking about, eg., the perceptions of the participants.

    So, Wakeford's thoughts about 'Europa' are relayed without attempting to explain what, objectively, he is taking about - the political and intellectual heritage he draws on (radical rightists such as Evola), and so on - thus depriving his words of any explanation that would make sense of them. Instead it is imagined that what we are learning about is 'what it all means to Wakeford', since this is information about the 'individual voice' that cannot be captured by structural explanation.

    The supporters of this blog believe that what is actually relayed is rather 'what Wakeford would like you to believe he thinks', which, given his history and his past associations - is almost certainly something very different indeed. This disparity would explain why, eg., Wakeford glosses over - and even lies about - facts that are inconvenient to the story he wants to tell these days (eg. the history of Above The Ruins). The main argument of this blog regarding your book is that it was your job to expose and explore this disparity, and that by not doing so you (inadvertently) help people like him with their aim of infiltrating the culture and seeding it with ideas more conducive to fascism.

    Indeed, I'd argue that the gap between what neo-folk artists say and what they think, and what they want you to think they think, tell us far more about neo-folk than simply uncritically relaying what Wakeford says.

    More than that, I'd say that the gap between what seems to be the case, and what is really the case - between ideology and reality - pretty much defines what is meant by 'cultural criticism'.

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  65. Further to what @John Smith says immediately above, I'd add that there are also those of us who did, in fact, come to read Genet, Lautremont and all as a result of our youthful engagement with Industrial Culture. For those people, like myself, the manner in which the ambiguities of Industrial Culture have been exploited by the far right is itself a kind of insult to Industrial Culture, and seeing them as representative of it is a form of revisionism.

    Come to think of it, that might apply to ICRN as a whole - imagining that the crude, rightist iconography of DiJ and the rest is representative of Industrial Culture, when in fact it is possible even to use some of the references, images and icons in a way that is critical rather than essentially affirmative.

    For instance, while I have problems with aspects of Throbbing Gristle's work, I think they stayed on the right side of the line in this regard. In fact, I still have hanging in my front room a the TG poster that depicts a gas chamber as the Industrial records logo. The defenders of neo-folk seem to find it inconceivable that someone such as myself could accept that such images could be used in an interesting way. So, my problem with DiJ and the rest is not that they use such imagery, but that they use it for reactionary purposes.

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  66. @am: "Strelnikov... from which historical (or fictional) Strelnikov have you taken your alias?"

    I took it from the character in Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. If you recall, 'Strelnikov' was the party name of the young medical student who becomes a leader of the Red Army, fighting the White Armies.

    If you like, you could see this as an example of my using the iconography of totalitarianism in a sophisticated way. In truth, it was meant as a daft joke. He is not my favourite character in the (terrible) film by David Lean - that would be the prisoner on the train (Klaus Kinski), who tells his Bolshevik guard "I am a free man - and there's nothing you can do about it".

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  67. Don't Be Another Neville Chamberlain24 Feb 2011 16:11:00

    I see AM keeps coming back but hasn't answered my questions. So I'll address one to Peter Webb instead and see if he answers it.

    Peter Webb said: "If you look at Jean Genet for example, his book `Prisoner of Love’ and his essays: “The Palestinians”, "The Black and the Red" (1971), "The Tenacity of American Blacks" (1977), Four Hours in Shatila (Quatre heures à Chatila) (1982) all give a strong analysis and commentary as well as a poetic account of the Palestinian struggle, the Black Panthers, Algerian immigrants and their brutal treatment by French Police and documenting his support for Huey Newton, George Jackson and Angela Davis. "

    Could you provide some examples of the musicians you're referring to engaging with this side of Genet's work, rather than that which I'd see as having the most appeal to them?

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  68. I have been following this debate for the past two days without pitching in, partially due to time constraints and partially due to the fact that I feel that any contribution I add will be subject to the sort of abuse and insults that I see dished out by the likes of John Smith (I agree with PW and AM, lets have some real names so as to better evaluate the position that you are coming from). The issue under debate largely concerns fascist imagery/crypto fascist references within the neo folk and industrial scene. Smith's haranguing, and at this point tautological, arguments around actual or possible photos of AM are diversionary bluster. This kind of sophistry contributes nothing to the debate. His references to Yugoslavia are equally ill-informed, as has been succinctly pointed out. Yugoslavia, since the break with Stalin, regarded itself as a non-aligned state, neither part of the West nor the Warsaw Pact. This, however, is not the place to enter into a debate about the history and politics of post-war Yugoslavia.

    I place my own politics on the left, yet refute the authoritarian tendencies of any ideology. I've also been following industrial culture/music and some aspects of the neo-folk scene for 20 years or so. Like PW, my interest in the music of DIJ/SI/C93 etc, flows from a broader interest in PTV, Coil etc. While I do not necessarily endorse the politics or belief structures of many of these artists, I am quite capable of understanding the complexity and contradictions that characterize their work. Aesthetic provocation at its best has the potential to engender a reassessment of assumptions, and at its worst remains mere empty posturing. Lyrically and aesthetically much has already been said on this subject, though there is much more to discuss. However, while I welcome the potential for debate that this blog could provide, the ill-informed, hectoring and downright insulting tone of those who appear to take an opposing stance to the ICRN posters, makes we wary of doing so. The somewhat ultra left positions being taken here lend the tone of the debate an air of authoritarianism that is particularly unwelcome. I'd be happy to engage more on this subject and on fascist aesthetics in general, but for the present I feel that the entrenched positions of those critical of the industrial genre and the ICRN currently prevents me from doing so.

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  69. Strelnikov:, thanks for the clarification. I imagined it might have been him.
    DBANC: Your questions are valid and clear, it simply seemed more pressing to deal with Mr. Smith first.

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  70. Could A.M. actually name someone who has claimed 'all industrial music is fascism'? '

In the late 80s/early 90s the group Consolidated used a sample saying precisely this. Anyone who spends any time in the scene encounters this accusation constantly. It's depressingly prevalent.


    'And could he also name those he thinks are trying to criminalise it?' 



    (For instance) the organisers of the blockade of the Cold Meat Industry performance at the Wave Gotik Treffen in 2006. There are some groups I'd support a blockade of but trying to make out that a group like Brighter Death Now is rightist is risible. That incident frightened and alienated many. 



    'A.M. turns those who are vocal in their opposition to fascist tendencies within industrial culture into closet Nazis. Frankly I find it both disturbing and disgusting that A.M tires to transform anti-fascists into fascists with this cheap and baseless claim.'



    I am actually trying to make you and others aware of how this debate is perceived by many. You're simplifying what I'm saying, certainly I'm not claiming such people are closet Nazis. However, the general approach they represent undermines valid arguments about the partial and largely unsuccessful rightist infiltration of industrial and alienates industrial listeners/activists who might otherwise be sympathetic to your arguments.



    Please don't try to link me to the views of Oneiric Imperium. The American scene is, I agree, extremely problematic and I've actually been abused by such people in the past, precisely because my interpretation of Laibach and industrial generally doesn't support a one-dimensional rightist reading or assimilation of it.

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  71. It comes as little surprise that Alexie Monroe continues to clutch at straws and attempts to distract us the real issues. He writes of me: “Your ignorance about Yugoslavia is spectacular but not remotely surprising. After 1948 Yugoslavia broke with Stalin and was never a member of the Warsaw Pact.”

    Of course this is the usual line in lying we’ve come to expect from Monroe. I never described Yugoslavia as part of the Warsaw Pact, which is why Monroe is unable to quote me doing so. I did say it was a part of the Eastern Bloc but that is a term that is anything but synonymous with the Warsaw Pact. The Eastern bloc is in fact a geo-political term that is usually taken as referring to the post-war communist countries including Yugoslavia. That’s how I use it. Here are some definitions.

    Hirsch, Donald; Kett, Joseph F.; Trefil, James S. (2002), The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 316, ISBN 0618226478, "Eastern Bloc. The name applied to the former communist states of eastern Europe, including Yugoslavia and Albania, as well as the countries of the Warsaw Pact"

    Satyendra, Kush (2003), Encyclopaedic dictionary of political science, Sarup & Sons, p. 65, ISBN 8178900718, ""the countries of Eastern Europe under communism""

    Chopra, Ramesh (2005), Dictionary Of Political Science, Gyan Books, p. 35, ISBN 8182052238, ""the countries of Eastern Europe under communism""

    As I’ve said Eastern Bloc is geo-political term, not an organisational one such as Cominform, Comecon, or Warsaw Pact. There was no formal membership of the Eastern bloc, and there is nothing unusual about states that were or are hostile to each other – such as the USSR and Yugoslavia – being placed together within a geo-political term.

    Vinko Bandelj said: “…you have missed the 1948 split between Stalin and Tito and the resulting expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform.”

    Again it becomes necessary to explain that Eastern Bloc and Cominform are not synonyms. Likewise, I am not denying that conditions in the former Yugoslavia were different from those elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc, so the content of both these comments is based on a misreading of what I’m saying – and in the case of Monroe it is his usual deliberate misreading and lying.

    Conor McGrady takes up Monroe’s lie by attacking me and saying: “Yugoslavia, since the break with Stalin, regarded itself as a non-aligned state, neither part of the West nor the Warsaw Pact.”

    So what? I didn’t say Yugoslavia was part of the Warsaw Pact. But the fact that the Webb/Monroe axis repeat their lies across comments demonstrates the kind of smear campaign they’ve been reduced to running in order to defend themselves, neo-folk and industrial culture. This really is pathetic.

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  72. "The core of my practice... currently examines the role of authority in contemporary society. In particular I am interested in how power manifests itself in individuals and nation states and how it translates into symbols, iconography, actions and a sense of self and place."

    OK Conor, we get it. You are interested in the aesthetics of 'power', in the manner of Foucault, I guess. A fascination with the aesthetics of power characterises Fascism itself, of course. But sadly, as a concept, 'power' is an abstraction of little use in the real world. Try 'class' instead, and you may get results.

    Similar considerations apply to the liberal concept of 'authoritarianism' in your comment above. The working class don't fetishise authority negatively in this way, since they understand that one of the crucial features of modern society is that they aren't allowed to exercise it. And they would like to. The middle class, on the other hand, talk guiltily of the problems of 'authority', 'exclusion', 'empowerment' and so on - bureaucratised substitutes of genuinely libertarian concepts. Then, in a transparent act of mental and political jujitsu, they use their opposition to 'authoritarianism' to defend themselves (the relatively privileged and powerful) from the justified anger of those who understand the implications of what they are up to.

    You define your own impotence when you say:

    "While I do not necessarily endorse the politics or belief structures of many of these artists, I am quite capable of understanding the complexity and contradictions that characterize their work."

    Which implies to me that, having attained what you claim is an 'understanding' of them, and although you are good enough not to actually 'endorse' rightist opinions, you don't see the need to oppose, or get angry about, them either.

    "the ill-informed, hectoring and downright insulting tone"

    The thing is, we aren't in the lecture hall here, and academic decorum about respecting the other fellow's point of view flies out of the window along with the mortar boards, because we are dealing with things that matter. Isn't it strange, how supporters of the unqualified right to provoke, scandalise, inflame and outrage - to challenge the core assumptions of the audience by 'transgression' - are themselves utterly scandalised and outraged the moment someone poitns out that they sound like a bit of a knob. They'll pose as a supporter of a mass murderer, but whine if their precious dignity is insulted for real. It is no coincidence that Fascist aesthetics itself embodies similar hypocritical amalgams of, eg., titillation and prudishness. I guess that's modern, academic, transgression for you, though.

    ps. as Picabia said, art is a pharmaceutical product for imbeciles

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  73. Vera Bremerton24 Feb 2011 21:11:00

    @ John Smith, who to my question "Mr. Smith, have you visited the ICRN blog recently?" has replied "No I haven't."

    So you admit that you have constantly flogged and slandered one of the main protagonists of this debate, that is Mr. Monroe, without bothering to type in the search engine of your computer "Alexei Monroe + ICRN" (an honour and a privilege that the readers of your pseudonym are not granted in return), click on the very first link appearing on the following screen, and look at the top right of the ICRN page. So you admit that you don't have an idea of who and what you have been talking about. I am appalled. After the initial shock, the continuation of your post sounds unsurprisingly "absurdist" in the lines of Ionesco, Beckett, Kafka. My question then becomes: why bother to read your posts, Mr. Smith? After your generous admission of ignorance, I surely won't make the same mistake again and my blood will run smoother.

    @ Strelnikov, who says that "academic decorum about respecting the other fellow's point of view flies out of the window along with the mortar boards, because we are dealing with things that matter."

    I have always thought the two (decorum and things that matter) could and should coexist, and their very coexistence to be the basis for any democratic, tolerant, productive debate. Have I always been wrong?

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  74. Don't Be Another Neville Chamberlain24 Feb 2011 21:29:00

    Thanks for your reply A.M. but I'm a bit puzzled by it. Perhaps you could explain further:

    Taking up my question you say: "Could A.M. actually name someone who has claimed 'all industrial music is fascism'? 'In the late 80s/early 90s the group Consolidated used a sample saying precisely this. Anyone who spends any time in the scene encounters this accusation constantly. It's depressingly prevalent.'

    I'm aware of Consolidated as a left-wing industrial band who crossed over into trip-hop. I guess what you're referring to here is the opening track on their "Play More Music" album of 1992. The album is made up of short nonsensical rants cut between normal length pieces of music. I always thought the titles of the opening track "Industrial Music Is Fascism' and other rant tracks such as "Why I'm In The Klan" were ironic – obviously Consolidated opposed the racist Ku Klux Klan! I'm sure most people see it this way. Check out this review of the album from The Independent newspaper of 4 October 1992 by Ben Thompson.

    "This tirelessly militant San Francisco trio and their master-mixer Jack Dangers have come up with the most commendably exhausting piece of agit-prop art in many a long decade: 70 minutes of coruscating metal-industrial-rap. What (usually) makes them more than just holier-than-braggarts is their willingness to address moral issues closer to home than US foreign policy, gun laws and fishing industry, or the heinousness of Ted Nugent. 'If you don't like fascism,' a concerned voice counsels at the album's very start, 'don't play industrial music, because that's what it's all about, guys.'"

    This seems to confirm my view because after mentioning Consolidated are a metal-industrial-rap band, Thompson quotes from what I– and I think he – takes to be an ironic opening rant. Immediately after the quote above, the pace changes for some of Consolidated’s industrial rap music. Given that the track “Industrial Music Is Fascism” seems to be ironic, I don't understand how this proves your point. Could you explain why you interpret this track the way you do? BTW it isn't a sample worked into music - it is just a spoken word track.

    Also my experience of the industrial scene doesn’t match yours. I’ve never heard anyone claim all industrial music is fascist other than as a joke, although I have heard specific bands and musicians called fascists in all seriousness. So I’m not convinced when you say: “Anyone who spends any time in the scene encounters this accusation constantly.” I would be interested to know what other people posting here think about this. Have I just been lucky or has A.M. had exceptionally bad luck over this?

    Also I understand a blockade as an attempt to prevent something happening, rather than a piece of legislation. Criminalisation requires legislation to make something illegal. So again I don’t understand why the blockade of the concert you mention has anything to do with proving your point about criminalisation. Could you please elaborate on this?

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  75. Vera Bremerton says "@ John Smith, who to my question "Mr. Smith, have you visited the ICRN blog recently?" has replied "No I haven't." So you admit that you have constantly flogged and slandered one of the main protagonists of this debate, that is Mr. Monroe, without bothering to type in the search engine of your computer."

    Excuse me? I said I hadn't visited the ICRN blog recently. How you deduce from that I am using a pseudonym and I 'don't have an idea of who and what you (that's me as you're saying it) have been talking about' is beyond me. Could you explain to me how you reached these ridiculous conclusions?

    I have looked at the ICRN blog in the past; I did not need to refer to it again. In recent days I have subjected myself to watching Monroe acting like a complete knob on YouTube among other things. Here's the link in case you're interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sssoo6vd118

    You were obviously too pleased with yourself for asking a ''thick', oops that should be trick (except in your case it shouldn't) question, to take on board what I said about making assumptions above. The fact I haven't looked at the ICRN blog recently doesn't mean I haven't done so in the past, and it also doesn't mean I don't research what I say. Also, are you capable of understanding that I'm replying to what Monroe says on this thread, not what he says on the ICRN blog? Likewise, could you get it into your thick head that I don't do all my research on the internet as your invocation of a search engine seems to imply. Most people are sophisticated enough to be familiar with offline research resources that aren't available online, even if this escapes you.

    I'd also dispute your claim that I've "constantly flogged and slandered' Monroe. In my view I've been pretty restrained in taking the piss out of him considering that he's a walking caricature of a really sad indie kid (checking the YouTube video above and reading some of what he has to say will confirm this). Which is why from now on I'll also refer to Monroe as Plastic Bag Boy.

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  76. A Wandering Jew25 Feb 2011 11:13:00

    Saddened by the tone and level of the exchanges made here. Concerned and let down to find out that a website dedicated to what is indeed an important cause seems to be dominated by childish sandbox machoism. I usually think anti-Nazis must be decent, earnest folk but all I see here is verbal dick measurements. As the saying goes, with friends like these...

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  77. Ironically enough, 'Mr. Smith's' comments about me are very close to those I received from the American right-wing industrialists a few years back.

    It's hard to conduct any kind of useful debate in this climate. It's primarily a dialogue of the deaf (to put it mildly).

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  78. A.M. AKA Plastic Bag Boy says: "Ironically enough, 'Mr. Smith's' comments about me are very close to those I received from the American right-wing industrialists a few years back."

    Just how likely is it that these right-wing American industrialists called him "a walking caricature of a really sad indie kid" as I did?

    If people read through the thread above they will see that Plastic Bag Boy has consistently lied about the content of my posts, they only need to check what he's said against my original comments and my replies. Therefore I think it likely Plastic Bag Boy is lying again here.

    Plastic Bag Boy doesn't have arguments to back up his positions (and from here it looks like he doesn't even have a sense of humour) - which is why he relies on lies and smears. What a sorry figure Plastic Bag Boy cuts.

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  79. Strelnikov, I've posted an extensive comment hours ago, how come it's yet unpublicised while JS is allowed to drop further baseless nonsense and personal attacks?

    Regards,
    A. Nym aka Stewie Heimat ;)

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  80. @AN/SH: "how come it's yet unpublicised"

    it remains unpublished because (and I don't say this to annoy you, but as a bare statement of fact), it didn't contain any substantive information or argument, but was simply a string of insults directed toward Mr Smith. As I've pointed out above, I really don't mind insults as such, but they have to be apropos of something, and not gratuitous.

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  81. Another proof that participating in this "discussion" is a waste of time.
    No worries, I'm not going to bother anyone with "strings of insults" anymore, I'll happily leave that privilege to Mr Smith, since he obviously has a lot substantive information and arguments to offer. In fact, you don't need my deconstruction of his narrative as he manages that all by himself.


    Bye for good,
    A.

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  82. P.S.: Truly a pity though that this proves the extent of doubletalk applied here -- AM & PW (and myself) are painted as people who stress provocation as a cultural tactic while at the same time are supposedly unable to cope with actual criticism.
    This is simply not true, as various posts above demonstrate. We wouldn't be posting here, dealing with mostly juvenile banter and fragile egos shows, if nothing else, at least the willingness to enter a debate & face criticism -- as long as it is based in fact & argument, and not on personal insults.
    That you're actually censoring me to keep Mr Smith from a healthy dose of his own medicine is more than revealing.

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  83. @SH: There is no double talk - within the guidelines I set out above, you can say what you like as long as you you are broadly taking part in an argument or providing information useful to the purposes of the blog. It was ICRN supporters who complained the most loudly about slurs and insults, and yet your banned comment really consisted of nothing more than that, whereas the commenter you are complaining about (John Smith), while he has made plentiful use of ridicule - as is his right - has consistently responded to arguments and pointed out facts pertinent to the debate.

    Kindly note that WMTN has not only freely published ICRN contributions, but has even given space to Pete Webb to make full guest posts here. At WMTN we are not afraid of debate - as the main administrator of the site I've done everything I can to encourage it. But while you are posting here (whether you, Mr Smith, Mr Hyde or anyone else) you play by WMTN rules.

    If I really wanted to silence you or prevent debate I wouldn't bother explaining in public why your post wasn't allowed through.

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  84. Clear-headed, well-trained Marxist analysts take on inconsequential crypto-fascist twerps who make shit music anyway. Said analysts risk becoming inconsequential in doing so. Both sides have now proven how the pseudo-intellectual underpinnings of aural-nazi-porn cannot stand the light of day. How about a new article fellas instead of all this gibbering?

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  85. A Wandering Jew26 Feb 2011 12:24:00

    It's a sad day indeed when infantile name-calling passes for 'clear-headed, well-trained Marxist analysis'. If anything, the clear-headed, well-trained Marxist analysts in this thread are convincing me to re-assess my attitude towards bands, genres, attitudes and individuals I previously suspected. Whomever infuriates this group of 'analysts' or warrants their tirades of ridicule must be doing something right (no pun intended).

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  86. Worker against Intellectual snobbery and fascism26 Feb 2011 12:30:00

    I think you should have a public debate on this. Strelnikov should extend a public invitation to the ICRN lot and have a discussion. It would get this topic discussed and maybe even some agreement between you as there are some similarities of approach to this topic by both sides. John Smith, Neville, Jack Spot and Strelnikov should be one set of speakers and the various ICRNs the others. Would be useful and hopefully productive.

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  87. While John Smith obviously has a sharp mind and is a funny guy, I think it is a bit of a shame he plays it so much for laughs and scoring points against opponents who are - as gebenst above notes - 'crypto-fascist twerps' and unworthy of his attention. There are many places where John Smith could have deepened his essentially correct analysis.

    I'll give one example where John Smith opts for the insult when dealing with Peter Webb, which is fair enough, but there is clearly so much more to say.

    John Smith quoting Webb then speaking himself: “Webb for example says: "I feel that the confusion on this blog is about my emphasis on its use of a complex variety of reference points e.g. Jean Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff, Sereny, Burroughs as well as the Strasser Brothers and other Fascist and Mystical Fascists, and my stating that this makes it unusual, very interesting and worthy of further study as a music scene." Come on! I - and I'd assume many others here - read Genet, Lautreamont, Mirbeau, Gurdjieff and Burroughs when I was teenage. This is kiddie stuff!"

    This is indeed 'kiddie stuff' because of the way it is used on the neo-folk scene - in combination, as Webb belatedly notes, with fascist ideology. That said, Webb needs to be criticised for his lack of historical perspective on this material. Interest in these writers ran through the beatnik and hippie counterculture - how else do you explain 1960s band Soft Machine taking their name from a William Burroughs novel?

    In 1964/65, "literature" was still everywhere in the air among Anglo-American people who felt they were, or wanted to be, in the centre of "what was happening". No such person would voluntarily admit to an ignorance of Kesey, Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Salinger, Jean Genet, J-P Sartre, Camus, Kierkegaard, Unamuno, Lautreamont, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Kafka, Mann, Mirbeau, Aldous Huxley, Proust, Henry Miller, Michael McClure, Leroi Jones and many other names one could provide. There was an equally imposing list of names from jazz, psychoanalysis, philosophy, the theatre, film, sociology (e.g. C. Wright Mills), 20th century music, performers such as Lennie Bruce. All of these elements seemed to blend into one sensibility which one might characterize with then common-coin words such as "beat" or "existentialist".

    About one year later, in 65/66. this world, which could have been found with some variation of names in 1950, or even in embryo in 1940, was mortally wounded. A group of beats around Herbert Gold put out a manifesto calling for a regroupment of people who liked jazz, literature, etc. against the rising tide of the hippie counter-culture with its beads, Be-Ins, rock concerts, communes, "underground newspapers", mysticism (and of course basic, willed illiteracy and anti-intellectualism).

    Within the counterculture there is already a narrowing of interest in literature and other intellectual matters. Industrial culture, like punk, is a continuation of 1960s hippie tropes even if they are very often inverted into a negative form. The list of writers Webb provides are a handful of beached icons left behind after a wave of intellectual enquiry receded. This represents an incredible narrowing of interest and expectation.

    The right-wing neo-folk groups seem to treat these names as some kind of cargo cult, and show little to no understanding of their work. What Webb calls 'unusual' and 'interesting' because he doesn't seem to be aware of the historical process that led to this beaching, I'd describe as depressing. This is the type of point John Smith should have been making, and probably would have been if he was older. The discussion on this thread seems to be one going on between people who were teenage in the 1970s or later. Some older hands - and heads - could add much. Although even in this older generation there are those who are every bit as ignorant as Webb and his supporters such as Monroe.

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  88. "At WMTN we are not afraid of debate - as the main administrator of the site I've done everything I can to encourage it"

    But the last word is alwyas yours.

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  89. Worker against intellectual snobbery and fascism27 Feb 2011 23:52:00

    Laurence Gee said.. This is indeed 'kiddie stuff' because of the way it is used on the neo-folk scene - in combination, as Webb belatedly notes, with fascist ideology. That said, Webb needs to be criticised for his lack of historical perspective on this material.

    Funny that nowhere does Webb say anything about the `historical perspective' here so how do you know what his take on that is? He seems to be saying that the neo-folk scene has used these reference points and that the audience that engages with this stuff has done so in combination with various fascist works. This doesn't infer the historical understanding of the trajectory of these works, it implies that people came to them unknowing of the rest of their history and therefore would read them without understanding their place in the literary canon. john Balance, Peter Christopherson, Douglas Pearce, David Tibet, Spiritual Front etc have all been documented talking about a variety of Genet's texts for example. They may not `understand' them but they certainly would have taken different things from them. Pearce may well indulge in Genet's homosexuality and transgressive tales of crime and sex and not necessarily loved his obvious anti-racist work. But the audience MAY read that differently.

    You also state that in 64/65: "No such person would voluntarily admit to an ignorance of Kesey, Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Salinger, Jean Genet, J-P Sartre, Camus, Kierkegaard, Unamuno, Lautreamont, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Kafka, Mann, Mirbeau, Aldous Huxley, Proust, Henry Miller, Michael McClure, Leroi Jones and many other names one could provide."
    Well I'm not sure what boho, middle class, literary nerd, backwater you were swimming in but it sure wasn't the majority experience in 1960s working class england. This list of literature was not the stuff of music scenes such as mod, skinhead, bikers and later on punk (in the late 70s) the beats and lit revolutionaries were a groupuscule that were important but tiny. Neo-folk is "interesting" because it gives reference points to literature that most music scenes fro the 1980s onwards have avoided and I mean here any literary reference at all, not these specific references. That is why I presume this blog is interested in it? John Smith aka "boho pedant" needs to get his head out of his intellectually nerdist arse and have a public debate on this, as do you Strelnikov, what have you got to be afraid of!

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  90. "That is why I presume this blog is interested in it?"

    fwiw I have no interest in the neo-Folk scene, either musically or intellectually (I mean in terms of what it might offer me intellectually). I first came across Burroughs, Genet, and some others you mention, through Industrial Culture (primarily) in the late 70s, but that is a peculiarity of my age. I am interested in how that culture - which was fairly systematically ambivalent about explicitly political questions, and capable of different readings, but which led me, eg. to Situationism, left-Communism, etc. - also spawned a grotesque, rightist caricature of itself. I'm also interested in how the impact of neo-liberalism etc. created a generation of academics (certainly) and related intellectuals whose 'radical theory' has abandoned all basis in class to create a theoretical mirror of the same grotesque culture. By this I don't mean eg., the ICRN, but a much broader movement, of which ICRN is a fairly trivial byproduct.

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  91. @Workers...

    "have a public debate on this, as do you Strelnikov, what have you got to be afraid of!"

    I would have thought it pretty obvious that this blog exists in order to have a public debate. I would also point out that I offered above to speak at any ICRN meeting.

    @gebenst

    "How about a new article fellas instead of all this gibbering?"

    A good point, well made. I've been as busy as hell since the new year, and will be for a little time yet. Meanwhile, a couple of articles are being prepared by other contributors on Throbbing Gristle, more on Freud and Reich, and another on Wakeford and his co-thinkers. Please be patient.

    Of course, the blog needs more contributors, so if Lawrence Gee would like to contribute a piece on the history of the reception of Genet, et al, I'd be happy to post it. If anyone else wants to propose writing something, contact me via the usual address.

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  92. Worker against intellectual snobbery and fascism quotes me saying: "That said, Webb needs to be criticised for his lack of historical perspective on this material."

    Then proves my point by adding: "Funny that nowhere does Webb say anything about the `historical perspective' here so how do you know what his take on that is?"

    Exactly, Webb ignores the historical perspective, which is why what he has to say is so useless. I didn't claim to know what Webb's historical take on this was but was rather criticising him for failing to provide one. Your rhetorical whine of 'so how do you know what his take on that is?' demonstrates your failure to comprehend the most simple of statements and complete inability to engage in serious debate.

    I say: "About one year later, in 65/66. this world, which could have been found with some variation of names in 1950, or even in embryo in 1940, was mortally wounded." And although you posture as if you are in disagreement with me, you more or less back this up by stating: "This list of literature was not the stuff of music scenes such as mod, skinhead, bikers and later on punk (in the late 70s)..." Mod is a special case since in its early beatnik modernist form in the late-fifties and early sixties both jazz and the literature I invoke could be found at its core, in its more populist form of the mid-sixties this was not so. But your claim here about late mod, skinhead, biker and punk is implicit in what I say. You are not arguing against my points here, you are buttressing them.

    Worker against intellectual snobbery and fascism says: “Neo-folk is "interesting" because it gives reference points to literature that most music scenes fro the 1980s onwards have avoided and I mean here any literary reference at all, not these specific references.”

    It is hard to know where to begin with this untenable assertion. The Fall - who might be taken to be the leading indie band of the past 30 years - took their name from a book by Albert Camus; and other authors such as J. G. Ballard are invoked as icons by some of those involved with indie.

    Likewise, various figures on the hip-hop scene have praised and discussed writers such as Iceberg Slim, Donald Goines, Clarence Cooper Jr., Herbert Simmons, Vern E. Smith etc. Iceberg Slim was a particularly important influence on hip-hop artists and rappers such as Ice-T and Ice Cube and Pittsburgh Slim and Slim Thug, who adopted their names in part as a result of reading this author. Iceberg Slim's last book, Doom Fox, which was written in 1978 but not published until 1998, contains an introduction written by Ice-T. Ice-T's third album, The Iceberg, was another major homage. Many of the recently popular references to pimp culture, for example in the work of Too Short and Snoop Dogg, can be traced back to Iceberg Slim. Rapper Jay-Z also refers to himself at times as "Iceberg Slim".

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  93. It seems to me that the fans' narcissistic belief that they're are the only true inheritors of the counter-culture has become increasingly evident throughout the history of 'Industrial Culture', developing in direct proportion to the extent that the culture itself lost it's critical edge, as it's fans drifted toward strands of reaction and obscurantism, turning nascent intellectual enquiry into the fetishising of counter-cultural shibboleths ('a cargo cult') and their promotion as intellectual commodities (like students with unread copies of the complete works of Kafka on their shelves).

    This narcissism was, perhaps, structurally necessary since any engagement with the reality (with other cultures and milieu's), any debate or test of their ideas, would reveal immediately that they are largely talking out of their arse when they discuss such matters, and are incapable of developing a coherent point of view. What we get instead in interviews, etc., are endless references to the protagonists' 'interest in ideas', betokening their supposed sophistication. But we rarely get to hear about the definite results of such interest - their actual ideas - since that would immediately reveal them to be not only atavistic and reactionary, but banal. When they do pipe up, this becomes blatantly obvious (see Boyd Rice for details).

    Normally it's considered rude to engage in a battle of wits with unarmed men; but the supporters of degenerated Industrial Culture will keep implying that they have a bazooka up their sleeve. Don't they realise how annoying this is to the rest of us?

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  94. Worker Against Intellectual Snobbery and Fascism1 Mar 2011 10:00:00

    Laurence you seem to be falling into the dialogic format of this blog by reducing yourself to comments that try and ridicule such as describing my "rhetorical whine" and suggesting that I have a "failure to comprehend the most simple of statements and complete inability to engage in serious debate". Lets drop that crap and discuss.
    Your point about the Fall is okay but references to Camus and Ballard are not followed through with any serious discussion of their work. The same could have been said of Joy Division and their references to Dostoevsky or Kafka and the films of Herzog or Scritti Politti's reference to Gramsci. But these artists are all of an era where this was much more common. Your points about hip-hop are more pertinent and I would add figures like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Arrested Development, Poor Righteous Teachers, Public Enemy, BDP and KRS1, Tribe Called quest etc to your list of artists that engage in political work and refer to important work for their audiences. But what is important here is that these artists have been marginalised in Hip-hop's 2010/11 canon. The lack of depth to the work of R n B's (in a hip-hop sense) `stars' and the pushing to the margins of `intelligent' hip-hop is a major problem that is to do with rampant commercial gain rather than artistic value. But back to neo-folk, the paucity of use of literary reference points is clear in this scene by the artists but what is interesting is where the audience of the scene has gone with these references and without further research we won't know. The attempt to develop something that has clear links to a variety of literary and esoteric sources, the politics of the Conservative Revolutionaries, Paganism, Heathenism and Mysticism is clearly of interest, needs analysis and Webb's chapter was an account of a part of this scene not a full and final account. His statement (the actual beginning of this thread) here, shows his analysis is not dis-similar to some of the posts on this blog, it might come at it from a different perspective, but it is a clear critical take on the political element of this scene.

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  95. "Scritti Politti's reference to Gramsci"

    Gartside's idea of Gramsci was a mockery, but it was explicitly stated and political through and through (unfortunately it was the politics of Eurocommunism), so I'd count that as a significant engagement with the ideas for the purposes of this discussion, albeit one that was essentially wrong (a misinterpretation of Gramsci) and malign (reflecting the Communist Party's turn to explicit reformism).

    You could argue that Gartside took his reformist ideas seriously - abolishing democracy in the band in favour of one man management, turning enthusiastically to celebrating wealth and conspicuous glamour (his upmarket, 'stylish' product), and mass production for a commodity market. And, of course, it inevitably led him away from even the last vestiges of Marxism in favour of modish, anti-Marxist post-structuralism (even recording a tribute to Jacques Derrida). Let's face it - just like his old comrades in the Young Communist Party, he anticipated Blairism and New Labour.

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  96. "Saddened by the tone and level of the exchanges made here. Concerned and let down to find out that a website dedicated to what is indeed an important cause seems to be dominated by childish sandbox machoism. I usually think anti-Nazis must be decent, earnest folk but all I see here is verbal dick measurements. As the saying goes, with friends like these..."

    Things like this comment section are one of the reasons I'm so disenchanted with the whole British left. You have to realise that the true purpose of a site like this isn't countering some incredibly insidious well-organised fascist threat, it's all about posturing, about maintaining in-group/out-group mentality, about, of all laughable things, maintining purity. Open-mindedness and plurality are not well-liked ideas among career revolutionaries, as they present a challenge to their carefully constructed lifestyle and sense of self, which revolves around constantly campaigning against or for things, without any danger of winning or much danger of jail time or physical harm (My favourite memory of the 10th November student demonstration: the people selling the socialist worker and approved leninist literature packing up their good and tables and fucking off in the opposite direction at speed literally the moment a copper turned up outside Millbank). This attack on Pete Webb is a perfect example. A Goldsmiths lecturer, obviously left wing, writes an article that these guys don't agree with (note that it doesn't even contradict their views per se, it merely omits them), and he is accused of being unfit for his job, an idiot, and a covert nazi. Another important factor in this is the way that the far right and far left are obsessed with each other. Each sees the other as a massive secret enemy with tendrils everywhere, bent on infiltration. In fact, as the story of people like Tony Wakeford shows, the people on both sides are often very similiar, and switch over sometimes, though it's obviously harder to switch from right back to left, because the kind of people who populate this blog view fascism as not just an absolutely intellectually discredited and ethically unnacceptable philosophy, but as a sort of highly contagious pure evil that never leaves the soul; anyone professing to have once been caught up with it and now to have realised his stupidity is simply hiding their true motives, waiting to pounce again. Any creative endeavour even associated with these people is irredeemably tainted, empty of any possibility of aesthetic enjoyment, ritually unclean. I think the basic reasoning behind it is that by having fascist (or any related far-right) views you are seen as not only condoning but somehow being complicit in the actions of the third reich etc. Ah, but if only those who cleaved to leninism and trotskyism were held to the same standards (I do, admittedly, see and hear some proper criticism of stalinism and maoism on the left, but people will still work with them and accept them (grudgingly) as fellow travellers).

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  97. This first comment I think sums up the whole attitude perfectly:

    "Even by academic standards - with which no one with any sense has any truck - Webb has cut a very sorry figure. But good to see that a dose of sensible criticism can make even someone as silly as Wee Pete Webb wise up slightly. "

    The smugness is absolutely unbearable. 'Wee Pete Webb' indeed. And no one with any senses has truck with 'academic standards'? Fuck off mate. What's next, science?

    Also, what the hell is with the repeated references to Dave Tibet being a nazi? Is this based off the stupid idea that Imperium is about the work of Francis Yockey? Do you think Yockey invented the word Imperium? Have you ever listened to Current 93's Imperium album? It's about a christian viewpoint on death (with a few buddhist elements thrown in). Example lyrics:

    "The Lord is my shepherd
    I shall not want
    He leadeth me into green pastures
    The Lord is my shepherd
    The Lord is my shepherd
    Shall I see you again?
    Imperium
    Imperium
    Imperium

    One generation passes away
    And another generation cometh in
    But this earth abideth forever
    The sun also rises
    And the sun goeth down
    And hastens to his place
    Way low
    All the rivers run into the sea
    Yet the sea is never full
    And to the place from hence the rivers come
    Thither they return again
    All things are full of labour
    Man can not utter it
    The eye is not satisfied with seeing
    Nor the eye filled with hearing
    Imperium
    Imperium
    Imperium"

    Imperium I would guess being a term for the power of God, in relation to the Roman legal concept, as opposed to 'This Empire' and 'Ceasar', mentioned in other C93 lyrics.

    Indeed, if you ever took the trouble to listen to or even read the lyrics of any Current 93 material you would realise all their music is about christianity, gnosticism, the inadequacy of earthly things, transcendent visions of Jesus and Mary, repudiation of the occult ('No incense is strong enough to make this life complete', etc.) The only overt references to anything to do with fascism that I can recall are in the songs 'Hitler as Kalki' (hardly a pro-fascist even if it does show some awareness of ideas relationg to neo-nazi mysticism) and 'A Song For Douglas After He's Dead', apparently a comment on Douglas P's obsession with fascism ('His darkness increases', Tibet notes). Everyone knows that Pearce is dodgy, Wakeford was in the NF, Rice and Moynihan are fascists, Albin Julius has extreme right connections, and so on and so on. But the lack of any sort of objectivity and original research obvious here (as well as the obvious mission to show that ALL neo-folk and post-industrial music is a covert front for international neofascism) is ridiculous.

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  98. @Master: how do you square off your concern for academic rigour with the pack of lies you just told in your last two comments? Eg. your claim that this blog has called Peter Webb a 'closet Nazi', or that it has repeatedly called Dave Tibet 'a Nazi'?

    I am aware of Tibet's lyrical and (ahem) 'philosophical' concerns and themes. What you seem unaware of is the overlap between the religious sense of 'Imperium' and the radical traditionalist (neo-Nazi) sense. Perhaps you will be surprised to learn that many Catholics found it in themselves to combine these concepts. This is not a coincidence, since, eg., Evola's work is based precisely on the idea that his fascist state is intended precisely to connect earthly politics with the divine Imperium - which is why fascists also call it an 'Imperium'. Duh!

    In any case, your line of argument is wilfully disingenuous. For instance, you ask whether criticisms of Tibet are based on "the stupid idea that Imperium is about the work of Francis Yockey", without acknowledging that such an idea might be perfectly plausible given Tibet's stated admiration for Yockley. A man who declares such an intellectual debt, then titles his records 'Imperium', should surely expect that this obvious connection might be made.

    Neither do I believe for a moment your claim that "things like this comment section are one of the reasons I'm so disenchanted with the whole British left", since it is clear that your political take on the far left - actually, not so much a 'position' as a ragbag of reactionary cliches and cod-psychology - might as well have been lifted from the The Daily Mail. For instance, your lie that, eg., SWP members conduct themselves "without any danger of winning or much danger of jail time or physical harm", whereas it was the SWP who set up the Anti-Nazi League in the 70s with the express purpose of confronting the fascists, not only risking jail time and 'physical harm' but, in the case of members such as Blair Peach, being murdered by the SPG. I doubt too that you were outside the court recently protesting when the SWPs National Secretary faced imprisonment for his anti-Fascist work. Despite the fact that their leadership eventually cut them loose, it is nevertheless the case that it was precisely SWP members who set up Anti-Fascist Action. If you are going to peddle lies like this, you can expect to be challenged for your lies.

    Here's another steaming pile of crap you dropped on the page: you talk about the blog's "obvious mission to show that ALL neo-folk and post-industrial music is a covert front for international neofascism", despite the fact that the very opposite is said in the 'About' section of the blog and also every time the question is raised. Would it be true to say that you need to cling on to such patent lies in order to justify your utterly uncritical, unenquiring and self-satisfied stance?

    Listen to records full of obscurantist drivel about the eschaton if you must, but don't be so cocky as to blame the left for your lack of taste and principle, and your obsequiousness toward, eg., academia (which you seem to confuse with truth) - these are all your responsibility entirely.

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  99. I will freely admit I was not aware of Tibet's stated liking for Yockey. I still fail to see how an album which is almost entirely about medieval religious notions of death has any but the most tenuous relations (you are really grasping at straws above) to fascism. I personally find Dave Tibet's apparent intolerance of atheist or even other religious viewpoints to be easily enough to criticise him on. Your response does little to disabuse me of my attitudes; by the way (although you will of course seek immediately to deny me my viewpoint) my politics are entirely of the radical left. I speak only of the kind of people who are involved in a certain sort of organised left-wing politics typified by the SWP and similiar organisations. I have met plenty of great people in my (admittedly short, I'm in my early twenties) involvement in active political and environmental causes here in the UK. I've also met a lot of people to whom an alphabet soup of political parties, obscure points of difference on political philosophy and attempting to co-opt everything and every one for their own petty ends are far more important than any of the principles for which they claim to stand.

    The idea that anyone who claims to hold left wing ideas can seriously espouse the notion that there is a 'correct' sort of artistic taste, that one should only appreciate work by artists one agrees with, that it is impossible to put a boundary between fantasy and reality or not to believe or agree with everything you read, and that anyone who disagrees with them on these points is a dangerous idiot is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Once whichever iteration of the Socialist/Communist/Workers Party/Tendency of (Great) Britain/the UK you happen to support at the moment wins 51% of the vote through assiduous sails of a sub-tabloid weekly newspaper and strongarming people at protests into joining up, thus ushering in the revolution, will you put the work of right-wing artists in a Museum of Degenerate Art for those with correct tastes to gawk at? What other work shall we expel into the wilderness? There's plenty of people throughout history with views that don't chime with radical socialism to one degree or another (Somewhere above 99% of every art form of ever sort ever produced, I would imagine). As you are, personally, the arbiter of what is acceptable, where do you draw the line? I will be fascinated to know your esteemed views, and how you go about forming them.

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  100. The Master said: "it's obviously harder to switch from right back to left, because the kind of people who populate this blog view fascism as not just an absolutely intellectually discredited and ethically unnacceptable philosophy, but as a sort of highly contagious pure evil that never leaves the soul; anyone professing to have once been caught up with it and now to have realised his stupidity is simply hiding their true motives, waiting to pounce again..."

    In which case it is hard to explain why, for example, Matty Blog of Red Action, Anti-Fascist Action and the anti-fascist band Blaggers ITA was accepted without reservation in many leftist circles after breaking with the British Movement... The difference between Matty Blag and Tony Wakeford is that the former clearly broke with his fascist past; the latter has yet to do so.

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  101. Also your professed care for the post-industrial and industrial scenes and acknowledgement that not everyone involved is a nazi, is belied by your statements about the music, which plainly show you hate it and consider it worthless, no matter its political form. Or maybe I'm wrong. What industrial or post-industrial artists do you listen to?

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  102. Worker Against Intellectual Snobbery and Fascism (WAISF) said to Laurence Gee: "Laurence you seem to be falling into the dialogic format of this blog by reducing yourself to comments that try and ridicule such as describing my "rhetorical whine"...

    WAISF seems to have forgotten that what Gee wrote was in reply to a comment in which WAISF wrote: "I'm not sure what boho, middle class, literary nerd, backwater you were swimming in..."? And much more along the same lines.

    It strikes me that the main point of most of the comments posted by those involved with ICRN - and those who are defending ICRN positions - is to draw attention away from attempts to discuss the failure of Tony Wakeford and other neo-folk musicians to break with fascism. That is what this thread should be about.

    The post at the top by Webb marks a shift of position on his part. Because of criticism on this blog and elsewhere, Webb has changed his tune. That is why WAISF is being dishonest when they claim:

    "But back to neo-folk, the paucity of use of literary reference points is clear in this scene by the artists but what is interesting is where the audience of the scene has gone with these references and without further research we won't know. The attempt to develop something that has clear links to a variety of literary and esoteric sources, the politics of the Conservative Revolutionaries, Paganism, Heathenism and Mysticism is clearly of interest, needs analysis and Webb's chapter was an account of a part of this scene not a full and final account. His statement (the actual beginning of this thread) here, shows his analysis is not dis-similar to some of the posts on this blog, it might come at it from a different perspective, but it is a clear critical take on the political element of this scene."

    Webb's chapter is quite different to his main post here; it does contain a critical take on the political element of neo-folk whereas his earlier writing does not. Like Webb, the person who left this comment also keeps shifting position without - it seems - wanting to admit this, as has already been pointed out in a previous comment. WAISF now appears to want a discussion of literary influences in various pop genres, whereas it appears to me that Laurence Gee cited a few instances of this without bothering to go into it in detail for the sole purpose of refuting WAISF's abandoned claim that" “Neo-folk is "interesting" because it gives reference points to literature that most music scenes fro the 1980s onwards have avoided and I mean here any literary reference at all, not these specific references.”

    Which is rather different to the position WAISF adopts on neo-folk in his follow on comment “the paucity of use of literary reference points is clear in this scene by the artists but what is interesting is where the audience of the scene has gone with these references and without further research we won't know.”

    Neo-folk is not interesting in and of itself, which doesn't mean it doesn't warrant further research - but any such research should be critical and not attempt to obscure the fact that many of the leading figures on the neo-folk scene are crypto-fascists; which was one of the clear failures of Webb’s initial work, and one which is partly rectified by his statement at the top of this thread. It is a shame that Webb and his friends undermine that with their comments here. If Peter Webb and his supporters simply admitted Webb's chapter on neo-folk and online interview with Wakeford were so flawed as to be worthless, rather than obfuscating about the matter, then just maybe some kind of worthwhile debate with them might be possible.

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  103. @Master: "Or maybe I'm wrong. What industrial or post-industrial artists do you listen to?"

    Well, my own, for a start. Then there would be the boxes of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Nocturnal Emissions, etc., etc., records that are never far away from my turntable. That's all very 'old school', of course, but that's hardly my fault. Actually, I own a box set of the C93 remixes by Andrew Liles - but that was a gift and I don't want you to read anything into the fact. I own many, eg., Nurse With Wound records (I mean, maybe a hundred or so), and actually quite like a few of the really early C93 things done with Stapleton. I mentioned earlier that I have an old TG poster ont he wall in my house. Perhaps now is the time to mention that it is mounted next to a print of a painting by Steve Stapleton.

    I don't know if you have noticed, but this is a site discussing aesthetics and politics. It is, among other things, not only about how fascist ideologues use culture as a means of propagating ideas (subversively, surreptitiously and dishonestly, you might say), but also about how fascist ideas and fascist aesthetics are connected. Aesthetics are about how appearances make you feel, to put it crudely. Only in a culture hypnotised by rationalism would it be possible for people like yourself to assume that fascist ideas and fascist aesthetics are not connected, and that you could oppose the former without having anything useful to say about the later. Of course, in a liberal culture criticising someone's taste is anathematised - the consumer is king and "it's all a matter of taste".

    As for your speculations about how the supporters of this blog would like to mount 'Entartete Kunst' exhibitions of neo-folk 'art', this is entirely a product of your fevered imagination and bears no relation to anything that has ever been published here. It is, however, typical of the kind of complaints neo-folk fans make, where they slide over from the fact that someone finds their aesthetic choices banal and reactionary, into the immediate conclusion that therefore their critics want to ban them, simply because they oppose and criticise them. It's the sort of hysteria you'd expect from a the kind of teenager who calls their parent's 'fascist' when they ask them to tidy up.

    Mind you, the fact that you can so casually compare the works of Dave Tibet and the like to the modernist art attacked by the Nazis and Stalinists as 'degenerate' shows what a pitiful grasp you have, not only of politics but of aesthetics too. I find it rather tiresome that people think that copying chops and techniques from modernist art movements somehow puts them in the same camp, when all that is really happening is that people are indexing modernism in order to make themselves appear radical. The irony is that, having referenced Dada, Surrealism and all, they fail to notice that these were essentially anti-art movements, and are totally incompatible with the kind of attitude of defensive hero-worship and fan-boy behaviour that typifies many fan's attitude to neo-folk musicians. The Dadaists certainly would have laughed out loud at the idea that art was above politics, and other such bourgeois articles of faith.

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  104. @Strelnikov: "conspicuous glamour". I apologise for using this barbarous expression. I meant either 'glamour' or 'conspicuous consumption', or both - but certainly not 'conspicuous glamour'.

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  105. "Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Nocturnal Emissions"

    All museum pieces whose industrial days lie firmly in the past.

    "C93 remixes by Andrew Liles, Nurse With Wound"

    Hardly industrial then and certainly not now. Give us the lowdown on Genocide Organ, Anenzephalia, Grunt, Strom.ec, Ex.Order, Con-Dom, IRM just to name a few bigger and currently active names and you might give your arguments a bit more credit.

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  106. @Anon: I think you are working backwards, and looking at the groups from the point of view of the later 'style' that industrial developed into, defining Industrial in terms of something that emerged only later in the day (and which, I admit, I have little interest in). According to the same logic, The Sex Pistols weren't really a punk band (they don't sound like later, stylised punk bands) - something that I've also heard argued.

    Similarly, in terms of imagery and ideology, whereas early Industrial groups used 'forbidden' and controversial materials as part of their aesthetic, with later groups I find that such usage has become stylised - turned into an end in itself. From that point of view, eg., Throbbing Gristle weren't wholeheartedly Industrial, since they didn't use this imagery as a matter of principle but in order to make specific arguments.

    I don't have a ready definition of 'Industrial' to hand, but whatever it was it would have to include NWW and early C93 as 'industrial or post-industrial' bands, which is what I was asked to comment on.

    I don't think anyone has yet given a good explanation of why the continuity between Industrial music (noise based) and neo-Folk / post-Industrial (with elements of folk music mixed in with noise - and vice versa, to different degrees) makes sense aesthetically, but it does. I guess both 'noise' and 'folk' attempt to leap directly out of capitalism, into either the void / eternity (noise) or an imaginary past (folk). That's a bit crude, but there's a point there somewhere.

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  107. It seems to me you are criticising and applying ideologies to a genre that you are out of touch with since 30 years.

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  108. @Anon|: you are confusing enjoying music with knowing about it. I don't own records by any of the groups you name, but it is trivially easy to hear their music on youtube and other sites. I was asked what Industrial music I listened to for preference, not what music I'd heard. In my last reply I talked about why I preferred the groups I listened to. Nowhere did I say or imply that I hadn't heard some of the later groups. So, no, I'm not a fan of much (if any) contemporary Industrial music - but neither do I need to be in order to talk about it.

    To be honest, life is too short to spend much time listening to corny industrial music when there are still, eg., Lee Perry records to be listened to.

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  109. I wasn't asking about what you like and don't like, I'm asking what you actually know about the genre you are labelling as fascist. I have given you a bunch of currently active and long serving names who have shaped the genre over the last 10-25 years and you know nothing. How can you then accuse the genre of being either or?

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  110. @Anon: "I wasn't asking about what you like and don't like"

    No, but the person I was responding to asked that question. They wanted to know if I liked any Industrial music. You then complained that I hadn't mentioned any recent bands, providing a list of names. I replied that I had heard some of them but didn't like them.

    "the genre you are labelling as fascist"

    Liar. Nowhere on this blog do I, or anyone else, label the Industrial scene as fascist. Indeed, as I pointed out only a little bit above, the blog specifically denies this (see the 'About' page). Perhaps you get a thrill out of feeling righteous when you are fighting back about this non-existent persecution.

    Against all the evidence, you argue that I am critiquing Industrial music as such without being aware of much contemporary Industrial music. But I haven't critiqued Industrial music as such, and I haven't critiqued any of the bands you mention, so I really don't see what your problem is.

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  111. Peter Cullivan3 Mar 2011 01:04:00

    The replies from Webb and those who support him and neo-folk on this thread are not only ridiculous and repetitious - they also undermine the statement posted at the top of the page. Since one of Webb's supporters above invokes his teaching post at Goldsmiths College as part of a defence of neo-folk, it appears this may have reached the point where Webb needs to decide whether he wants an academic career or to hang around with the nutjobs he has involved himself with at the ICRN - including Alexei Monroe and Alexander Nym, who have both posted on this thread.

    My feeling is Webb's best move might be to break with the ICRN and reiterate his views on the fascist element in neo-folk as expressed above in his post, but in somewhat stronger terms. Just what do those with past and present involvements with Goldsmiths sociology department make of the ICRN and the way it has behaved here?

    When I say Goldsmith's sociology I'm thinking of a long list of names including Jeffrey Alexander, Brian Alleyne, Les Back, Vikki Bell, Kirsten Campbell, Mariam Fraser, Paul Gilroy, Monica Greco, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Paul Halliday, David Hirish, Aidan Kelly, Caroline Knowles, Celia Lury, Mike Michael, Kate Nash, Pamela Odih, David Oswell, Nirmal Puwar, Alison Rooke, Nikolas Rose, Marsh Rosengarten, Monica Sassatelli, Don Slater, Victor Jeleniewski Seidler, Abdou Maliq Simone, Bev Skeggs, Brett St Louis, Alberto Toscano, Emma Uprichard and Nina Wakeford.

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  112. "To be honest, life is too short to spend much time listening to corny industrial music when there are still, eg., Lee Perry records to be listened to."

    I'm not quite sure but are you aware that David Tibet contributed to Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Repentance CD?

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  113. pART one:

    Lets get back to my subject - lets deal with the facts of the matter - lets deal with Webb....

    I’ve been away from the computer - many points that have been raised have been adequately dealt with by others above (by Jack Spot and others - thank you all who came to my defense in my absence) - what a lot of activity there has been. And what a lot of noises off. And what a lot of questions that I asked above haven’t been answered in any way clearly or honestly or at all by Peter Webb...

    From his book;

    page 31 - in the section ‘the theoretical development of the milieu’ BY Peter Webb - so please judge for yourself and comment -

    "The momentary development of the milieu, can, for example, be the exposure of an individual to new ideas or sounds, which individuals will apprehend and interpret through the order of values that they have accrued at that particular time. For example, someone with a Socialist background and set of political values may, on meeting a street vendor offering a Nationalist newspaper, respond with disdain and contempt and may not listen to his/her values at all. In this case the moment of that person’s momentary exposure to this other political milieu is being fenced off by the rigidity of his or her particular political vision.
    As another example: An individual who has an open disposition to new music may hear improvised jazz for the first time and start to integrate it into his/her musical lexicon, giving a new set of reference points and ways of listening to music that the individual can refer to within his/her own creative frameworks, or if the person makes music, within his/her own creative frameworks. In this case the momentary milieu has opened a door to a new set of reference points, relevancies, and typifications that may impact on the individual’s own sense of milieu."


    Back to me - Heres where I admit to two mistakes - The number of pages I cited was indeed wrong - I haven’t read all of the book cover to cover, and hadn’t seen it in any form for quite a while, the fact that Webb wants us to know that it contains other material aside from the neo-folk related chapter is a bit like (to use a questionable metaphor seems to de rigeur in Webbs 'Life-World' so i’ll join in) a man apprehended by a policeman for throwing rocks at windows demanding that the policeman put in his report that the man was wearing a nice tie - it is a complete irrelevence - or would be if it weren’t for the fact that makes it WORSE (yes, a shout - not so much this time - my perogative - its my kind of 'right' and what Webb deserved - though it may not be 'cool']) in that it widens the potential area and audience of the book for the poison to be spread.

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  114. pART two:

    In referring to the Monroe photo - Munro - Munoz - Mr. Milky - etc. (again, respect, man) I had in mind Cassiers idea that lived space is always ‘symbolic space.’ This acknowledges that lived space is not always about the immediate present or the ‘here and now’, but it is also about the present and non-present, the real and the possible’; ergo the photo may be, in someone elses ‘here and now’ a picture of a winsome fool in front of a picture of a certain dictator - but for me, given the distortion that an image of a very few millimetres affords through several layers of not-so-fine Red Mist, I saw another image, one of a winsome fool in front of another dictator - one with not so much notoriety who, put in a line-up on University Challenge, may tax some of the finer minds of the current generation (so therefore, its a low-wage, low-responsibility job for them - on the basis of one mistake all they say is irrefutably wrong in ICRN... the Knights that say 'Nym!' world) Furthermore, I mis-copied his name [ALEXEI MUN...ETC.] in homage to his fairweather-friend Webbs predeliction for similar abuse of moniker. This phenomena is also viewable within his book, THAT IS, WEBBS BOOK - the interchangeability of Rose McDowalls’ name from McDowall to McDowell, and also, the introduction of another character, a certain ‘Tony Wakefield’, an individual who must be a dweller in one of Cassiers other ‘Possible Worlds’, and has lived a life uncannily similar, if not identical to that of Tony Wakeford.

    This next, though, has to be classified as a bit of a 'Super-Howler' - from Webbs book - "Edred Thorsson and Dr. Stephen Flowers are two key figures in the Rune Guild who have written volumes on the subject of runes and Heathenism, and their texts are often referred to in interviews with key neo-folk artists or in publications that these artist are involved with." It is a shame, then, that some of these 'key figures' couldn't save one of webbs two faces by telling him this (from wikipedia - easy to find and quite important research, i think)

    "Stephen Edred Flowers (born 1953) is an American Runologist and proponent of occultism and Germanic mysticism. The Bonham, Texas-born author has over two dozen published books and hundreds of published papers on a disparate range of subjects. He is also known by the pen-name Edred Thorsson. Flowers advocates "Esoteric Runology" or "Odianism", an occultist version of Germanic Neopaganism."

    In another world, again, one of Cassiers, there lives a man called David Irving (not, of course, the David Irving we know and ‘love’) who has written a book about various areas of the musical Zeitgeist - and within that book (and in accompanying interviews, lets not forget those - I’m sure some very conveniently will) he has laboured to ensure that some guilty parties are innocent of certain ‘lack-of-thought’ crimes (for reasons best known to himself - because he himself is not ‘right wing’, fascist, anti-semitic or otherwise racist / racialist - even though, admittedly he sometimes keeps company that fits ticks all of those boxes). Furthermore, the characters he writes about whose history is so pebble-dashed with right-wing intrigue and association he attempts take said history and to palm it off into some far-off dustbin of the past - rather like british Euro MP Mr. Brons youthful Synagogue Burning it is a thing of a distant, mystical Land of Long Ago (and anyway - his involvement now as a senior member of the BNP is nothing to do with world in any way). In this ‘other world’ Irving happens to move to another country where, for various reasons, they do give a damn about such things - and he is duly censured for a not-unconnected crime (one of painting his house) which is in a ‘Standards of Decency Conservation Area’ he decorates it in a non-sanctioned colour - ‘OFF-WHITE LIE’ colour, in fact.

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  115. pART three:

    Back to this world

    Another passage from Webbs weavings - his ‘educational book’....A passage that could well be titled The Ego Has Landed - [Douglas Pearce speaks];

    "In the past 25 years of Death In June’s existence I’ve been blessed to have traveled [sic] all over the World and seen how influential and inspiring Death In June has been with people in terms of the way they dress, they [sic] way they think, what they read, what they listen to etc. It wasn’t something I really thought about until Boyd Rice pointed it out to me. We could be in Japan, Croatia, Australia or America etc. and the people we were meeting dressed like us, read the same books as us, like the same films as us listened to the same music as us and so forth. The literary and philosophical figures you mention were well advertised by the likes of myself and for some reason people paid attention and took up the banner from there. It’s been a rewarding and strange revelation. And, probably something national governments are interested in. In fact, I know they are!" [interview with Douglas P., 01.11.06]

    In another fairytale plain of Cassiers existence Douglas P, now the Wicked Queen, looks into her mirror and says “whos the loveliest, cleverest person with the best taste and ideas and songs in the whole world?” and without waiting for reply, says to herself “WELL, OF COURSE. I AM !!”
    ...and this is repeated, again and again....

    In the world which we inhabit, sadly, the egomaniac that is Douglas P. sometimes speaks the truth.

    Points to note - Webb started by saying he would answer my questions ("I will answer all your points but as they are in three sections then I may answer the first block and then later the second, etc.”) then, in the same piece he changed it to 'some' of my questions and furthermore he applied conditions; “I will return to answer some of your other questions but perhaps in the mean time [sic] you can reveal your name then I may be more disposed to enter into a dialogue.”

    OK. Mr. Webb; following the terms and conditions and codes of conduct you apparently want to operate under and also in accord with my wishes, heres my name - Kelvin Szabo - any the wiser? as Jack Spot said - ‘the man with the red tie’.

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  116. pART four:

    Now - questions for you, Peter Webb;

    1) Why isn’t Richard Moult interviewed in either the book or the interview? how do you regard Richard Moult (and with his relationship to David myatt?)

    2) Why isn’t Wakefords group ‘Above The Ruins’ mentioned in the book by either you or Tony Wakeford?

    3) Did you think and do you think now that Wakeford lied to you at any time prior to, during and after the publication of the book and separate interview?

    4) What was your motivation for conducting the separate interview with Tony Wakeford ? did you do that for others in the book?

    5) The ‘girl’ you mentioned - in your book and also, helpfully, above - who fought with the NF at Waterloo station - when was that? the chronology is uncertain in this passage as it ends with details of a DIJ gig in 2005 - was that when you spoke to her?

    6) Regarding Patrick Leagas - I note that his involvement with the British Reserve forces is mentioned - however - I seem to recall mention of his involvement with the mujahadeen and/or with having been a mercenary - why is none of this mentioned? what is the truth in these matters?

    7) In the ‘Acknowledgements’ - the second of two paragraphs it consists of is lead by Tony Wakeford, then Doug Pearce and then Patrick Leagas - [note - not in alphabetical order - all the other non-neos etc. come later] - you mention Albin Julius - don’t you think that he should be added to your list in reply to one of my questions you’ve already tried to answer? what do you think of him?

    8) Likewise, what do you think of Michael Moynihan...

    There are many other questions to be answered...

    If you return and answer these, Peter - so be it - if you do not, I hope you will be asked these and similar questions elsewhere - and if you do not return I hope that the owner of this blog will see fit to post said questions as a new blog - with the addition of some more (I do not know what they were thinking of by posting your piece above in the first place - its good as an Aunt Sally though.)

    If, however, he [WEBB] doesn't return in no way should he be let off the hook - he has stepped into the public arena (by way of his book and interview, and subsequently by outings such as this). He should explain himself in part by answering these questions.

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  117. C.S.Firmament3 Mar 2011 15:37:00

    Just to point out that due to the `discussion' here it looks to me as though PW will not post again, this, MR Hyde, is from the end of his last but one post:

    "I won’t post again as I don’t think there is an actual debate here, there is some presentation of good information but the discussion hasn’t actually moved anywhere. All the best, PW."

    And who can blame him when you accused him of being a liar :

    "IF ONLY IT WAS JUST BY THE SIN OF OMISSION - FOR, HOWEVER, I FEEL THAT YOU ARE LYING ABOUT YOUR SYMPATHIES" your earlier post.

    Webb has no sympathies with any of the politics of the rightists and fascists that inhabit neo-folk and anyone who knows him would testify to that.

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  118. @ anon: that checklist and line of argument is pretty pointless. When I was listening to SPK and TG in '93, the other 'industrial' kids at sixth form (who you could count on four fingers) didn't have a clue what I was on about: to them, 'industrial' meant NIN, Skinny Puppy, Prong, Pitch Shifter and the like. It's become a catch-all term and is probably irrelevant now. In any case, if it wasn't for the connections between certain people in a tiny minority scene in London in the 1980s, you'd be hard pressed to describe DIJ as 'industrial', or to even imagine they'd heard TG.

    But regarding 3 of the bands you mentioned (all of whom I saw at the Red Rose between '99 and 2001); Anenzephalia (supporting Whitehouse) was some skinny, 30-something German bloke with a military uniform and an appalling 'Bavarian cancer wig' hairdo, who kept pursing his lips and looked unbearably smug - his act forced me back to the inner bar, it was conservative, safe noise-by-numbers that'd have made Masonna blush; Con-Dom is some fucking jerk who bounded over to me, all friendly, until he realised I wasn't who I thought he was, at which point he sulked and spent most of the night hanging round on his own - his act on stage sucked too; Grunt (supporting Sutcliffe Jugend, I think?) was so unremarkable I can't really remember much about him/them (that whole gig support roster was embarrassing, except for Jessica Rylan). I would personally suggest Strelnikov missed absolutely nothing on all three counts. All they challenged was my belief that Friday night power electronics nights at a Finsbury Park boozer were worth going to, even if the Beamish Red was only £1.80 a pint.

    Gotta admit tho', every time I log in here now and see mentions of various groups or 'industrial researchers', I'm increasingly glad I missed out on 99% of this stuff...

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  119. Apologies for cock-up on the last post - I meant 'until he realised I wasn't who he thought I was'

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  120. c.s.firmament said [above]
    Just to point out that due to the `discussion' here it looks to me as though PW will not post again, this, MR Hyde, is from the end of his last but one post:

    "I won’t post again [....] All the best, PW."

    And who can blame him when you accused him of being a liar :

    SURELY - "last but one post" and "won't post again" are not in accord with each other -but i'll deal with that at the end of this post- surely, if Mr. Hyde calls Webb a liar in his earlier post - then Webb replies to him and awaits an answer - he had no problem with that accusation at that time and wished to prove he was not a liar and giving his reasons for his conduct by intending to read Mr. Hydes response and replying again - so, maybe you DON't know him as well as you say - [UNLESS you are Webb and even then I would argue as to how well you know yourself].But i'll continue as if you are not Webb. I think that PW was taking a beating and didn't like it - I believe despite his flouncing off he has been back and didn't like the questions Mr. Hyde has put forward for him to answer - I hope he will be pursued and asked these questions up until he gives a 'reasonable' reply - as we all deserve one.
    He has proved himself not to be a man of his word - after all, he said he wouldn't be coming back again and returned some 30 minutes later!
    that for starters, in my book, is a liar....and - if you note - at the start of his initial reply to Hyde he said he would answer the questions and at the end of it said he would answer 'some' of the questions... I think that the 'liar' bit still stands, doesn't it? thats twice, after all - oh, and have those letters gone out to all concerned yet? how galling it must be to wait for a reaction and a result - never mind - it will surely come......

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  121. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  122. ‘Propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign, and not success pleasing a few scholars or young aesthetes. 


    In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out. 

The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.’

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  123. Those who do not choose to remember the past...

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  124. jerzy...I wonder if you can scream AND quote Hitler at the same time? lets just you and I find a quiet place and see if this at all possible, sometime soon
    - somewhere woody and scenic, perhaps? in Hertfordshire maybe - will you require motivation to
    attempt this task? if so I think I'm up to it physically and my psychological profile suggests I'm more than capable.

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Please at least use a pseudonym so it's possible to follow your argument if you make multiple posts