Graham D. Macklin: Co-opting the Counter Culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction
Patterns of Prejudice
Vol.39, No.3, September 2005
In his monumental A History of Fascism, 1914–1945 Stanley Payne devotes only two pages to British fascism–‘a political oxymoron’–the volume of literature devoted to which is ‘inversely proportionate to its significance’. Such disdain has all but smothered the study of post-war British fascism, which is characterized merely as an ‘epilogue’ to the ‘epochal significance’ of inter-war British fascism, which in itself is only of interest as a benign footnote to the history of fascism and Nazism. Walter Lacquer is similarly scornful in his refusal to study post-war British fascism, ‘because it has not been very significant or in anyway original’. Although there is an element of truth in this proposition its reductive methodological focus on the traditional canons of ideological core and electoral performance overlooks the extent to which British fascism operates outside neatly quantifiable electoral, national and legal boundaries. This inevitably underestimates the wider impact of fascist politics.
In this respect Roger Griffin’s recent elaboration of the concept of the fascist ‘groupuscule’ provides a much-needed corrective to an analytically stunted approach that obscures as much as it reveals. This case study of the National Revolutionary Faction (NRF) provides a salutary example of fascism’s cogent syncretic core and its ability to produce novel and pragmatic syntheses. While the synthesis of left and right in ‘third position’ groupuscules makes their classification suitably problematic, this article demonstrates that despite a protean capacity for change ‘national-revolutionary’ groupuscules retain, at least to the initiated, the recognizable mark of Cain. These origins are equally evident in the synthesis of ‘anarchism’ with Evolian fascism, which is espoused by NRF founder Troy Southgate whose rapidly evolving political odyssey from (comparatively) orthodox British fascism to the radical, anti-capitalist, ‘post-third-position’ ideology of ‘national-anarchism’ represents a highly personalized and idiosyncratic revolt against the modern world.
The origins of the NRF can be traced to the collapse of the National Front (NF) in 1979. From its formation in 1967 the NF grew rapidly in strength until by 1973 it had approximately 17,500 members, though approximately 64,000 people passed through its ranks during the course of the decade. Following its comparative success in the May 1977 Greater London County Council elections — which masked an overall decline in its political fortunes — many commentators feared the NF was on the verge of a major political breakthrough. Buoyed with hubris the NF fielded 303 candidates in the 1979 general election, more than any insurgent political party since the Labour Party in 1919. However, a resurgent Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher, which usurped its anti-immigration platform while taking an equally draconian line on law and order, trounced the NF, which polled a derisory 191,706 votes (1.4 per cent).
It was Götterdämmerung. The resulting trauma accelerated the decline and fragmentation of the NF and led to the departure of its titular chairman, John Tyndall, who was blamed for its humiliation. Riven by internal dissent and struggling to cope with its failure, the NF entered a period of frenetic ideological radicalization. The catalyst for this development was the arrival in England of approximately forty fugitive Italian fascists belonging to Terza Positione and the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, several of whom had been involved in the horrific bombing of the Bologna railway station in 1980 that killed eighty people. As well as supplying the NF with funds they also introduced its membership to the ideas of Julius Evola, the aristocratic Italian racial theorist who had assumed centre-stage after 1945 as the inspiration for generations of youthful Italian fascists. The radicalization of these younger, educated, ambitious activists created a further rift within the NF, which culminated in the departure in 1983 of Martin Webster, the National Activities Organiser.
Webster’s departure paved the way for the ascendancy of the ‘leftwing’ and ‘anti-capitalist’ tendency within the NF inspired by the French Nouvelle Droite and the ‘anti-Nazi’ writings of Otto Strasser. The absorption of these ideological imports led to the development of a more intellectually sophisticated, internationalist, ‘third position’ ideology showcased in the NF’s theoretical journal Rising. Modelling itself on the esoteric elitist pretensions of Evola and Corneliu Codreanu, the NF sought to transform itself into a ‘revolutionary’ cadre-based organization and to rid itself of ‘armchair nationalists, tin-pot dictators or refugees from old political parties’. By January 1985 membership had declined to 1,000. The NF’s ideological inspiration was Derek Holland’s The Political Soldier (1984), which envisaged an elite form of racial nationalism led by ‘a new type of man who will live the Nationalist life every day’ while preparing for a ‘holy war’ against the iniquitous British state. Abandoning electoral politics, the NF extolled grassroots, community-based activism and aspired eventually to replace parliamentary politics with direct democracy or ‘popular rule’ adapted from Colonel Qaddafi’s Green Book, which was eulogized alongside Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran and Louis Farrakhan’s black separatist Nation of Islam. Not everyone accepted his ideological evolution, however. In 1989 the NF split into two separate groups: the Third Way led by Patrick Harrington, and the International Third Position (ITP) led by Derek Holland, Roberto Fiore and Nick Griffin, currently the British National Party (BNP) chairman.
Born in Crystal Palace, South London in 1965, Troy Southgate’s political odyssey began in 1984 when he joined the NF as it was completing its rapid transformation into a ‘revolutionary organization’. Southgate claims he was attracted by its platform of ‘popular rule’ and Catholic distributism, rather than its ‘racial separatism’, which he accepted only later. Of immediate influence was Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton and I Believed, the autobiography of Douglas Hyde, former editor of the Stalinist Daily Worker who became a minor cause célèbre in the 1950s when he renounced Communism and converted to Catholicism. Southgate followed suit in 1987, joining the ultra-conservative Lefebvrist sect, the Society of St Pius X. It was during this period that Southgate was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment for serious assault during a streetfight. Following his release in 1989 he took over NF operations in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. As the NF disintegrated into rival factions that year Southgate joined the ITP, believing it to be ‘the legitimate heir to the National Revolutionary Movement in Britain’, acting as its Kent organizer and editor of the Kent Crusader, Surrey Action, Eastern Legion and Catholic Action.
Despite its radical origins the ITP quickly degenerated into an insignificant though fanatically ‘pro-life’ and homophobic Catholic sect, eulogizing the self-same ‘reactionary’ figures like General Franco and Mussolini it had previously denounced. Southgate became increasingly dissatisfied with the ITP leadership, particularly Holland and Fiore, whom he believed were far more interested in the possibilities of developing a rural fascist enclave in Northern France (and later in Spain), into which they had invested the group’s finances, than in sustaining the ITP as a cadre-based organization. Accusing them of gross financial impropriety, hypocrisy, racial miscegenation and of practising a ‘bourgeois’ form of reactionary ultra-Catholic fascism incompatible with the ‘revolutionary’ nationalism that, he claimed, they had betrayed, Southgate acrimoniously departed from the ITP in late 1992.
Southgate immediately formed the English Nationalist Movement (ENM), which was intermittently active in Dover, Kent with small cadres in London and Bradford. It had ‘a small fluctuating hardcore’ of between 25 and 35 committed activists, though anti-fascist estimates put the figure as low as 4. Signalling that the ENM represented the genuine embodiment of ‘national-revolutionary’ essentials Southgate established the knowingly titled Rising Press and reprinted influential articles from NF magazines like Rising, New Nation and Nationalism Today. Vehemently opposed to the spiritual enslavement emanating from the twin materialistic poles of ‘Capitalist greed and Marxist servitude’ the ENM sought to define a usable ideological inheritance, untainted by its association with ‘classic’ fascism. Thus Hitler and Mussolini were denounced as ‘reactionary charlatans’ and enemies of ‘genuine’ revolutionary nationalism. Corporate economics was also dismissed as the perpetuation of capitalism ‘behind a nationalist facade’. The BNP was rejected as a mere ‘pressure valve’ for closet Tories and ‘small time drug dealers’.
In contrast to the increasingly ‘reactionary’ ITP Southgate paid fulsome tribute to the pantheon of ‘forgotten’ dissident fascists that had motivated the original third position, including Strasser, Codreanu, José Antonio Primo de Rivera and Léon Degrelle, not to mention the Welsh nationalism of Plaid Cymru. The resulting ‘patriotic socialism’ was assimilated with the writings of Victorian socialists like William Morris, Robert Blatchford, Robert Owen and William Cobbett to create a native Anglo-Saxon völkisch tradition that desired the reclamation of an English pastoral idyll supposedly swept away by the Industrial Revolution.
This was coupled with Southgate’s desire for a ‘mono-racial England’, which he claimed was not ‘racist’. Borrowing his terminology from the Nouvelle Droite, Southgate claimed to seek only ‘ethno-pluralism’ (i.e. racial apartheid) to defend indigenous white culture from the ‘death’ of multiracial society. Defending ‘human diversity’ Southgate advocated ‘humane’ repatriation and the reordering of the globe according to racially segregated colour blocs. Within this framework Southgate advocated a radical policy of economic and political decentralization: England, Alba (Scotland), Cymru (Wales), Ulster, Mannin (Isle of Man) and Kernow (Cornwall). These regions were to be governed according to the economic principles of Catholic distributism and a wealth redistribution scheme modelled on the mediaeval guild system. The ensuing growth of private enterprise and common ownership of the means of production would end ‘class war’ and, ergo, the raison d’être for Marxism, and would also encourage an organic nationalist economy insulated from ‘foreign’ intervention. Politically the regions would be governed by the concept of ‘popular rule’ extolled by Qaddafi. The resulting restoration of economic and political freedom would re-establish the link between ‘blood and soil’ enabling the people to overcome the ‘tidal wave of evil and liberal filth now sweeping over our entire continent’. ‘Natural law’ would be upheld and abortion, race mixing and homosexuality forbidden.
This desire to create a decentralized völkisch identity has its roots in the ideological ferment gripping National Front News and Nationalism Today in the 1980s. Southgate’s continued ideological morphology was stimulated through contact with Perspectives, the journal of the Transeuropa Collective formed in 1989 to discuss ‘European identities, autonomies and initiatives’ and which emerged from the NF’s cultural appendage IONA (Islands of the North Atlantic). IONA organized joint symposia with Michael Walker’s Scorpion magazine at which ‘former British Nationalists’ met to discuss finding a ‘rooted radicalism’ to challenge the nationalism of the NF that was ‘out-dated, discredited and overtaken by events’. Despite such ideological innovation Southgate betrayed signs of remaining wedded to older biological fulminations espoused by Nazi racial scientist Hans “Rassen” Günther and American racist Lothrop Stoddard. Even his assimilation of Noam Chomsky’s scathing analysis of social control and hypocrisy at the amoral heart of American-led liberal democracy was refracted through the conspiratorial ideological lens provided by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Anarch(y) in Britain: the National Revolutionary Faction
In 1998 Southgate disbanded the ENM and founded the National Revolutionary Faction, a new cadre-based groupuscule that embraced a far broader range of dissident fascist positions than the ENM, reflecting Southgate’s increasingly occult and esoteric trajectory following his break with Catholicism in 1997, which he blamed for the ‘complete stupefaction’ of the ITP. Ironically, many of Southgate’s esoteric ideas were reconstructed from his own reading of the key texts of liberal ‘fascist studies’ rather than originating with any organic tradition. Through the NRF Southgate pushed ‘third position’ thought on decentralism and regionalism to its ‘logical’ conclusion, rejecting the very cornerstone of fascist ideology itself: nationalism. While retaining the ‘palingenetic’ component of its ideology, the NRF nevertheless rejected the ‘artificial’ nation-state and the ‘reactionary’ nationalism emanating from it as the focus for rebirth. Drawing on Evola’s ‘spiritual racism’ Southgate rejected abstract geography, advocating instead a ‘tribal and organic’ Indo-European ‘ethnic heritage’, extending from Europe to Iran, Afghanistan, India and Tibet, which offered an impregnable racial defence against the ‘quagmire’ of globalization and the faltering security provided by national borders. Added to this ‘spiritual racism’ was C. G. Jung’s concept of the ‘collective subconscious’, which provided the NRF with further evidence of the existence of a ‘primeval Aryan psyche’. In this respect Southgate admired Heinrich Himmler’s activity at Wewelsburg Castle as ‘one of the most significant developments in modern history’, which had contributed to a ‘deeper’ occult understanding of race, even though in the same breath Himmler could be derided as a ‘fascistic pig’ funded by ‘secret wall street financiers’ who had murdered many of his own ideological heroes.
The most intriguing ideological innovation, however, was Southgate’s conversion to ‘anarchism’ and his subsequent formulation of a doctrine of ‘national-anarchism’. At first glance the ‘total insanity’ of this incongruous ideological syncretism might be dismissed as little more than a quixotic attempt to hammer a square peg into a round hole or a mischievous act of fascist Dadaism. When put into its wider context, however, ‘national-anarchism’ appears as one of many groupuscular responses to globalization, popular antipathy towards which Southgate sought to harness by aligning the NRF with the resurgence of anarchism whose heroes and slogans it arrogated, and whose sophisticated critiques of global capitalist institutions and state power it absorbed and, in the case of anarchist artist Clifford Harper, whose evocative imagery it misappropriated.
Central to ‘national-anarchism’, however, is a far older paradigm drawn from conservative revolutionary thought, namely, the Anarch, a sovereign individual whose independence allows him to ‘turn in any direction’, a notion that reinforces Southgate’s belief that ‘the concept of humanity coming and going in the same direction is a 1960s dead-end’. Redolent of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s Futurist poetry, Nietzsche’s rejection of dogmatism and even Max Stirner’s extreme egoism, the concept of the Anarch finds its fullest expression in Ernst Jünger’s novel Eumeswil. For Jünger the Anarch differed radically from the anarchist, whose acts of insurrection (‘beacons of the impotent’) only brought further state repression. For the Anarch all external poles of power, whatever their relative merits, are both arbitrary and transitory. Having undergone a fortifying process of inner migration the Anarch ‘adjusts accordingly’ to external authority as a ‘question of form’ rather than faith. Stoically abjuring from this ‘ultimate devotion’ the Anarch preserves his autonomy and ‘metaphysical integrity’. This was also paramount in Evolian thought, which also divined a ‘spiritual’ basis for genuine authority beyond naked self-glorification.
By recognizing this inviolability, by gaining the mastery of himself, the Anarch personifies a spiritual, aristocratic elite. The recognition of multilayered realities sees the Anarch ‘endlessly moving nomadically with mercurial freedom through thought . . . free to explore and synthesize’. In this way the Anarch appropriates authority rather than succumbs to it, thus securing his own salvation and, ergo, that of the nation. In essence, Jünger’s work provides an esoteric reworking of Southgate’s original understanding of the ‘political soldier’ as a ‘Godlike figure’ who ‘can only truly be master of his situation when he is truly master of himself’. Only this ‘new man’ can save society from the ‘corruption and decadence’ that has engulfed it. The concept of the Anarch therefore provides sanction for the amorphous ideological shape-shifting and rampant eclecticism of ‘national-anarchism’, allowing Southgate to claim that he is not ‘fascist’ but that he has transcended the dichotomy of conventional politics to embrace higher political forms that are ‘beyond left and right’.
In order to ‘change society completely’ the NRF purloined anarchist thinkers like Proudhon, Kropotkin and Bakunin, using their revolutionary rhetoric to justify the overthrow of liberal social democracy, which coincidentally led Southgate to jettison the ‘socialist trappings’ of Strasserism and ‘reformist’ distributism as incompatible with his Evolian racial vision. Indeed, Southgate is vehemently opposed to immigration and miscegenation, which he believes have severely disrupted the ‘organic balance of nature’. The depth of his contempt for those who contravene this ‘natural order’ can be surmised from his attack on glamour model ‘Jordan’, whose child was fathered by a black footballer. ‘She has been rewarded for her racial treason’, jeered Southgate, ‘her picaninny has been born blind. just [sic] like his father, it would appear. still [sic], he can always become a Stevie Wonder impersonator when he grows up.’
As such sentiments reveal, NRF ideology is totally devoid of anarchism’s humanistic social philosophy, which is rejected as ‘infected’ with feminism, homosexuality and Marxism. In its place Southgate has propagated a ‘third position’ anarchism based not on ‘moral’ rights but on Darwinian struggle, which would illuminate the ‘natural order’ from which every group with ‘insurrectionist potential’ could unite to destroy ‘One World’ tyranny with a ‘primal bloodlust’. NRF propaganda revels in this discordant Conradian stereotype of anarchism, glorifying both Bakunin’s ‘propaganda of the deed’ and Sergei Nechayev’s ‘science of destruction’.
Having styled itself as an urban guerrilla group, NRF propaganda pays particular attention to the avoidance of state repression and surveillance by extolling a cellular, cadre-based organization comprising ‘political soldiers’ with four degrees of membership: the cadre or ‘active unit’, the trainee or probationary cadre, the supporter, and the outer circle who do little more than receive NRF publications. These four degrees of membership are subordinate to the Revolutionary Command Council, betraying a linguistic nod towards the continued ideological attraction of Qaddafi’s Libya, Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir’s Egypt and the Iraqi Ba’athist Party.
Such political organization reveals the NRF to be closer in inspiration to the Leninist ‘revolutionary vanguard’ than anarchism, even though it eulogizes the Angry Brigade and recommends Towards a Citizens Militia, published by Stuart Christie, one of [the] anarchists who was indicted though subsequently acquitted during the ‘Stoke Newington 8’ trial. Indeed the NRF appropriates its symbolism from Marxist terror cells like the Red Army Faction, and its publications regularly feature instructions on the manufacture of homemade explosives, rockets, grenades, short-range mortars and napalm. In preparation for the total systemic collapse of capitalist society NRF cells are urged to immerse themselves in survivalist literature, military field manuals and encouraged to join the Territorial Army so that, as the Irish Republican Army discovered in the 1950s, ‘you can actually be paid and trained by the State in order to deal with its consequences’. The NRF found even greater inspiration in the native terrorist tradition of the American far right and its concept of ‘leaderless resistance’, which is portrayed as an ‘anarchist’ alternative to the traditional mass-based organization that is rejected as ‘self-delusion’. Having abandoned the constitutional’ approach of the British National Party the NRF is free to wage its ‘war of liberation’ against the British state and ‘international Zionism’ and in doing so evokes the inspiration of liberation leaders like Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, who are listed as ‘exemplars for the struggle’. This synthesis leads the NRF to promote a form of ‘black’ anarchism. These ideas owe a far greater debt, however, to fascism’s own tradition of terrorism and the ‘active nihilism’ of Julius Evola who in his later life preached that the outright destruction of the state was imperative. Southgate’s concept of ‘Real Anarchy’ is therefore little more than a repackaging of the esoteric principles of conservative revolutionary and Evolian thought.
Richard Hunt and Alternative Green
Southgate’s espousal of Evolian Traditionalism underwent further ideological morphology through his contact with the anarcho-primitivist ideas of Richard Hunt, the founding editor of Green Anarchist who had been forced to resign over his support for the Gulf War. Southgate was exposed to Hunt’s ideas through the pages of Perspectives, the journal of the Transeuropa Collective that eventually merged with his new publication Alternative Green. Hunt’s ideas found their fullest expression in his book To End Poverty (1997), which argues that poverty in the ‘periphery’ is caused by western trade demands on a developing world that is starved to feed the core’. This ‘progress’ represents an extension of the taxation and wage slavery that encourages the growth of an increasingly urbanized and ‘biologically unhealthy’ population, creating poverty and crime as society hurtles towards ‘total social breakdown’. Hunt’s panacea is to return to ‘the original affluent society’ of the self-sufficient hunter-gatherer living in rural communes, protected by armed militias (evoking the murderous post-apocalyptic tribalism of the Mad Max trilogy) and regimented by a ‘peck order’ of ‘respect and influence’, bound by ‘kinship’, that would reestablish family values and foster a primitive communalism immune to capitalism.
Impressed by Hunt’s ‘grubby sort of utopia’ Southgate recognized that it could only be implemented following the ‘complete collapse’ of capitalism. Southgate believed that this eventuality was nearer to hand than was generally imagined, counselling that ‘national-revolutionaries’ needed to create ‘alternative revolutionary structures’ and ‘independent enclaves’ away from Britain’s ‘Asian infested cities’ in order to hasten capitalism’s demise. Thus the NRF advocated a localized ‘counter-economy’ based on smallholdings and allotments whose produce and required skills could be bartered through local exchange trading systems (LETS) suffused with a racist imperative to break the ‘dominating stranglehold’ of Asian shop owners. This racist anti-capitalism had as its end the desire to foment civil and racial strife through ‘no-go’ areas for ethnic minorities and state power as an essential prelude to racial civil war and the collapse of the capitalist system.
Key to this is the maintenance of a network of like-minded and ideologically committed individuals, families and groups who have ‘turned their backs upon the corrosive influence of urbanism and decay’ and might feasibly form racially segregated rural communities and build something ‘tangible’. Emulating the example of the Wandervogel, the British Woodcraft folk and the ‘legionary spirit’ of Corneliu Codreanu’s Iron Guard, Southgate formed the Greenshirts and a uniformed Iron Youth to re-establish the ‘eternal’ principles of blood and soil through cross-country hikes and camping. Here can be found Southgate’s attempt to create the archetypal Fascist Man who, in Codreanu’s words, ‘does not bend, who is inflexible’. These activities represent an integral part of the NRF’s long-term strategy to construct a broad range of viable political, social, cultural and economic alternatives to those of ‘the Establishment’ through which the children of its activists can emerge as ‘the true vanguard of our people’s future’. To insulate them from the degenerate Americanized values of their peer group and a national curriculum based on ‘reading, writing and buggery’, Southgate schools his children from home.
This racist communitarianism is given an ‘anarchist’ gloss through Southgate’s reinterpretation (and limitation) of the ideas of free and instinctive association implicit in Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid as an expression of ‘folkish’ identity. Proclaiming that it is ‘anarchist’ to insist on ‘our own space’, Southgate excludes from these communities the ‘unnatural’ presence of ethnic minorities, homosexuals and feminists, not to mention those who support abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, vivisection and genetically modified foods. They would be free to form their own communities. Influenced by Hunt’s anarcho-primitivism Southgate’s view of ‘Traditional Anarchy’ is suffused with Evola’s advocacy of ‘self-rule by an elite’ and the creation of a racial hierarchy conditioned by ‘genetics’ that, despite its alleged ‘anarchism’, looks favourably on the heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon England as a model of racial ‘kingship’. Southgate’s vision also absorbs the ideas of anarchist thinkers like John Zerzan, not to mention the Luddite terrorism of Ted Kaczynski, in order to theorize a ‘more natural lifestyle’, superficially free of the taint of ‘fascism’, adding a novel green/anarchist spin to Evola’s Traditionalism in the process.
This exposure to anarcho-primitivism has helped Southgate conceive of ‘folk autonomy’ rather than nationalism as the only true bulwark against the further encroachment of globalization. He was quick to appreciate that the anti-globalization movement was ‘sectarian’ in its political leanings. Alternative Green and its ‘overriding aversion to the Capitalist system’ was therefore an ‘ideal platform for formulating practical strategy’ to oppose capitalism. Alternative Green was soon being used by Southgate as a bridgehead to the ecological and anarchist movement in an effort to forge a ‘sincere’ alliance of ‘anti-system’ protesters from both ends of the political spectrum. To do so Southgate and others participated in the Anarchist Heretics Fair in Brighton in May 2000, which drew together several minute splinter groups from the political and cultural fringe, though admittedly ‘there wasn’t much input from the far left’. To push this agenda the Beyond Left and Right website was founded, although efforts to convene further events during 2001 proved unsuccessful when Anti-Fascist Action and members of Green Anarchist (and their arch-detractor Stewart Home) mobilized to ‘smash convergence’. Southgate’s aborted attempt to transcend the left/right dichotomy and open a dialogue with the (now-reviled) ‘anarcho-dogmatists’ failed utterly.
Members of the anarchist trade union, the International Workers of the World, founded an anti-nationalist-anarchist e-group to refute the assertions being made by ‘national-anarchists’. Black Flag, the backbone of British anarchism, provided its Internet audience with a vast archive of online texts refuting Southgate’s assertion that racism and nationalism were ‘anarchist’. Individual members of Anti-Fascist Action have also been particularly active in challenging NRF activity in online newsgroups. The furore led to Hunt’s further marginalization within green anarchist circles and, despite Southgate’s frequent contributions to Alternative Green, his views have not permeated further within the far right. Denounced as a ‘fascist’ Hunt found his speaking engagements cancelled, and several independent bookshops refused to stock Alternative Green. Having become ill Hunt finally relinquished the editorial control of Alternative Green to Southgate; it was, however, suspended after only one issue and replaced with a new publication, untainted by the furore, entitled Terra Firma.
The brief existence of the ‘Beyond Left and Right’ project hinted at its nebulous potential. Two veteran socialists, Gary Holden and Terry Liddle, both prominent in the Greenwich branch of the London Green Party, its Green Socialist Network and the South London Republican Forum, attended the 2000 Anarchist Heretics Fair. As news of their attendance emerged members of the UK_Left_Network e-group (unsuccessfully) lobbied the London Socialist Alliance and the Republican Communist Network (RCN), with which they were involved, to institute an enquiry. Liddle offered a somewhat unconvincing defence of his actions in both Republican Communist and Weekly Worker, organ of the minuscule Communist Party of Great Britain, which was closely aligned with the RCN, that stated that he had ‘no case to answer’. Calls for an enquiry were dismissed as a ‘witch hunt’ motivated by the ‘paranoid’ fantasy of Green Anarchist, thus sidestepping the actual content of the accusations. A parallel Green Party enquiry ended with Liddle’s resignation, however.
As these events unfolded it became apparent that the NRF was practising a form of virtual entryism through the eco-anarchy e-group, an arm of the Canadian-based anarcho-green forum, in order to enquire into, among other things, the viability of forging a green/black bloc. Its moderator Joseph Catron had previously posted a number of messages to ‘national-revolutionary’ e-groups announcing his opposition to the ‘multicultural and imperialist nightmare’, and it has been suggested that the eco-anarchy e-group was a ‘honey trap’ designed to lure genuine and unsuspecting greens and anarchists into its orbit. This thesis was given some credence by the fact that Dave Parks, the Anti-Fascist Action activist who exposed these machinations, was barred from the list rather than those he exposed.
Mindful of the contemporary success of the red/brown coalition in Russia, NRF cadres sought to create ‘a working synthesis’ between anti-capitalists of both the left and right. Indeed, with the collapse of ‘really existing’ Communism in 1989, the NRF abandoned ‘third position’ fascism as ‘irrelevant’. Having immersed himself in the writings of both Hunt and anarchist theorist Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson), Southgate reconceptualized the coming struggle in terms of a Manichaean division between ‘those for Capitalism and those against Capitalism, Centralists versus Decentralists’. In this respect ‘national-anarchism’ was ‘transcending the very notion of beyond’ by taking synthesis to its ‘logical’ extreme and uniting all anti-systemic opposition against a single enemy: global liberal capitalism deemed to operate as a front for the ‘shadowy financiers’ of the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group, and therefore ‘International Zionism’.
There was little evidence that this ‘synthesis’ represented anything more than a strategy for infiltration as NRF cadres gradually shifted from low level antisemitic demonstrations against traditional fascist targets to the permeation of ecological and anarchist concerns, like direct action protests against a proposed multiplex cinema in Crystal Palace, the ‘Stop the City’ protests in 1999 and the May Day protests in 2000. Southgate claims to have been active in the increasingly violent protests surrounding the Huntingdon Life Sciences vivisection laboratory in Cambridgeshire during August 2000. He also claims NRF cadres are active in the Hunt Saboteurs Association and the Animal Liberation Front.
Discord in the Middle East has offered the NRF further scope to enhance its anti-imperialist credentials. Unlike the BNP, which has transformed its virulent Islamophobia into a virtue since 11 September, the NRF supports Islam because ‘many of its adherents are vigorously opposed to International Zionism’. NRF members often participate in pro-Palestinian demonstrations and, in one symbolic act of support, burned American and Israeli flags outside Downing Street as an ‘anti-Zionist’ protest against continued attacks on Iraq. Although the NRF opposes organized Islamic groups in Britain like Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun, which seek to establish a ‘global Caliphate’, NRF publications regularly eulogize groups such as Hamas for the ‘purity of thought and action’ with which they attack ‘the obnoxious disease that is World Jewry’. Keen to build bridges with British Muslims the NRF claims a ‘handful’ of Arab members and has published a faux Islamist publication, Semitic Voice, which purports to be the work of ‘a group of young Muslim students’. In an attempt to foster greater enmity against Israel the NRF repackages traditional far-right concerns in an Islamic context, blaming the ‘holohoax’ for Palestinian dispossession and inciting Islamist militants to violence against the Jews by advocating the formation of ‘cells of God’ (leaderless resistance).
This strategy had a limited virtual success through an online bulletin board called Jumeirah Beach: The Society of International Thinkers for Peace, run by Qasim Khan from Karachi in Pakistan, which purports to have a wide audience in the Middle East. Khan, who is linked to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the third largest political party in Pakistan whose activists were recently involved in the wave of sectarian violence in Karachi, describes the NRF as an ‘international think tank’ and acts as the ‘national-anarchist’ contact in Pakistan. Through this site Southgate has sought to acquaint Middle Eastern readers with Julius Evola and ‘lone wolf’ resistance and, in doing so, to transform national-anarchism into a ‘global idea’, thus hastening the ‘destruction of international Capitalism’. Another contributor to the site is former BNP organizer for Hull and Lincolnshire, David Michael, who left the BNP because of its ‘disgraceful’ anti-Islamism after 11 September. Michael views the American-led invasion of Iraq as potentially cathartic and argues:
All the people of the world who want peace and who fear America must unite now more than ever before, Muslims, anarchists, communists, nationalists, all of us . . . we must join together, put aside philosophical and religious differences, and start to work together against the American murderers and the British pig, Blair. Divided, we will accomplish nothing. Together, we might slowly begin to rid the world of this evil.In an effort to further such an alliance Michael founded Voice of the Resistance, which purports to act as a forum for resistance against the ‘new American Capitalist Empire’. Using rhetoric traditionally associated with left-wing protest Voice of the Resistance bills itself as ‘George W. Bush’s worst nightmare’. Southgate and Michael soon encountered ‘insurmountable differences’ and ceased their co-operation.
One of the paradoxes of post-war fascism has been the repeated effort to transcend the ‘narrow’ nationalism of ‘classic’ fascism by becoming truly international through a series of grand designs for European unity. To compensate for their debilitating numerical deficiency, ‘national-revolutionary’ groups like the NRF have internationalized both their ideology and their organizational frameworks in order to reach out to similarly isolated groups abroad, globalize their struggle and consolidate their strength. In its attempts to realize this Eurasian ideology Southgate founded the Liaison Committee for Revolutionary Nationalism (LCRN) in early 1993 to unite the American Front, Canada’s National Liberation Front and Kerry Bolton’s National Destiny in New Zealand. These groups did little more than exchange publications and information, however. In September 1998 the LCRN merged with Christian Bouchet’s Front Européen de Liberation (FEL) under the shadow of the Front National’s annual Red-White-Blue festival. The FEL was inspired by the ‘one vision’ of European ‘liberation’ espoused by Otto Strasser, Jean Thiriart and Francis Parker Yockey, after whose original organization the FEL was named. Southgate sought to anchor the NRF within this ‘living tradition’ by reprinting Yockey’s The Proclamation of London (1949), ‘a fully-fledged ‘‘Declaration of War’’’ against the ‘Zionist, Capitalist New World Order’. By February 1999 despite repeated efforts to organize these disparate ‘national-revolutionary’ sects the FEL had atrophied, although Southgate continued to ‘work closely’ with Bouchet.
Geopolitically Southgate has shifted away from the older paradigms of Europe as a ‘third way’, gravitating towards the spiritual and esoteric national-Bolshevik solution advocated by Jean Parvulesco and Aleksandr Dugin, ideologue of the Arctogaia think tank, who seek a new Eurasian (and in Dugin’s case Russian-led) geopolitical axis: ‘Paris-Berlin-Moscow’. Former Jeune Nation leader Jean Thiriart provides further inspiration through his more materially orientated idea of an economically insulated European empire stretching ‘from Galway to Vladivostok’ and acting as a third force between Occident and Orient. Despite having retired from politics in 1969 Thiriart was so enamoured with the FEL that he re-emerged shortly before his death in 1993 to lead a FEL delegation to Moscow for talks with national-Bolshevik ideologues Yegor Ligachev and Aleksandr Dugin.
Southgate’s vision of western culture is saturated with a profound pessimism tempered by the optimistic belief that only by ‘complete and utter defeat’ can tepid materialism be expunged and replaced by the ‘golden age’ of Evolian Tradition: a return of the Ghibbelines of the Middle Ages or the ‘medieval imperium’ of the Holy Roman Empire before it collapsed into the ‘internecine struggle’ and ‘imperialistic shenanigans’ of the nation-state. This panacea has been injected into the contemporary Russian national-Bolshevik milieu through Southgate’s analysis of Evola’s Men among the Ruins that appeared on the Pravda.ru website. The Eurasian geopolitical solution is not conceived by Southgate as a cynical extension of Russian imperial chauvinism, but a ‘golden opportunity’ to create a ‘decentralised imperium’. Adopting the slogan of Breton nationalist Yann Fouéré, Southgate advocates a ‘Europe of One Hundred Flags’ wherein ‘each historic nation can assert its own political, social and economic freedom within the ancestral boundaries of its racial and cultural heritage’. This Eurasian ethnic ‘federalism’ is to serve as an impermeable barrier to the culturally enervating forces of MTV ‘musak’ and ‘Coca-McDeath’. To liberate Europe from the all-encompassing ‘blanket cosmopolitanism’ of American-led consumerism, not to mention the ‘occupying force’ of its military presence in Europe, Southgate advocates relinquishing ‘the very idea of the West’. Enmeshed in a vortex of materialist society and therefore ‘deep within enemy lines’, Europeans are encouraged to reach out to the ‘common struggles’ waged by the heirs of Che Guevara, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir and Patrice Lumumba, whose revolutions on the ‘periphery’ should be supported as part of a dual strategy of ‘encouraging dissent and resistance from within’.
Southgate, who has a degree in theology and religious studies from Canterbury University, rejected Catholicism and moved towards neo-pagan and heathen groups that are ‘very loyal to the Gods of the Northern Tradition’, including the Odinic Rite, the Tribe of the Wulfings and the Asatru Alliance, a pagan movement concerned with practising rituals and magic and led by Valguard (Mike) Murray, a former member of the American Nazi Party. Further evidence of this transition from Catholicism to paganism emerged in an interview with Wotan, the organ of the Charlemagne Hammer Skins. Southgate believed that Wotan’s celebration of the heroes of the Norse pantheon represented ‘the most genuine expression of European spirituality, culture and identity’. Another key expression of this ‘identity’ is exhibited by Southgate’s interest in the militaristic cult of Mithras and the ‘pagan spirituality’ of the apostate Roman emperor Julian II.
This rejection of Christianity has an avowedly antisemitic dimension. Through the figure of Christ, Christianity has Judaic roots and is therefore irredeemably tainted; only the ‘weak’ continue to worship a ‘dead Jew’. The emphasis on the Judaic roots of Christianity, however, is regarded as of secondary importance to its usurpation of the rituals, sacraments and hierarchy of the ancient pagan solar religion Mithras, which was introduced into Iran and India by marauding Aryan tribes from the Russian steppes between BCE 2000 and 1500 before spreading to the Roman empire. Although it failed to defeat early Christianity in the battle for religious supremacy during the fourth century, Mithras continues to be viewed by esoteric thinkers (including Evola and Jung) as an alternative path the West could have followed. It retains its appeal as an initiatory cult or aristocratic order akin to the Knights Templar or, latterly, Himmler’s SS which, the NRF claims, had its origins in various ‘Anarchist droite’ circles like the Black Sun and the Thule Society. While Christianity tried to neuter this vital expression of the ‘Aryan psyche’, the awareness of Europe’s ‘Faustian’ destiny is currently enjoying a renaissance within the occult milieu. These ideas were also absorbed by thinkers like Evola and René Guénon who discerned in them the fragments of a ‘hidden albeit distinct and fundamental truth’. For Southgate, as for Evola, Tradition is an ‘an underlying current which both permeates and transcends all’.
Southgate’s discovery of Evolian ‘Primordial Tradition’ and his consequent rejection of Catholicism as ‘the sole cosmological truth’ ran in tandem with his immersion in the industrial music scene. This ‘cultural vanguard’ is spearheaded by a number of Gothic-Industrial, Dark Ambient, Black and ‘Viking’ Metal bands, including Allerseelen, Blood Axis, Burzum, Current 93, Dark Holler, Death in June, Endura, Mayhem, Ostara, Puissance and Sol Invictus, though it also encompasses more commercial bands like Cradle of Filth. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that these groups conform to a defined political agenda, their music serves to diffuse the ideals of Mithraic paganism and Nordic folk myths within this youthful underground subculture far more effectively than any number of meetings and marches could, thus providing the ‘perfect antidote’ to the spiritually enervating, multiracial values of a globalizing ‘system’. Southgate has also noted the potential of the Straight Edge punk movement and its hard core of puritanically intolerant followers, an interesting development given (exaggerated) reports of an emerging ‘anti-anti-establishment’ pro-Bush right-wing punk movement. Although Southgate realizes that the groupuscular right cannot control music-orientated youth cultures, he believes a minority can be induced ‘to take a direction basically conducive to our aims’. Southgate seeks to do this through his online magazine Synthesis, which features a music section replete with interviews and gig reviews.
This is not simply cynical manipulation. Southgate appears genuinely interested in the counter culture he seeks to target. His fanzine, Tribal Resonance, ‘the voice of the racial avant-garde’, reveals Southgate’s strategy of linking his ideas to ‘the common language and the big ideas of our culture’. Through the medium of musical subcultures and the creation of alternatives ‘from without’, Southgate hopes to permeate existing political subcultures transversally, as the Nazis did, through a process of ‘cultural osmosis’ that aims to recode the ‘social symbology’ of the host culture so that its ideas can metastasize throughout the body politic, recalibrating its genetic inheritance. By creating ‘cultural hegemony’ the groupuscular right believes it can forge the ‘political space’ necessary for political and racial hegemony.
The struggle for cultural hegemony is greatly enhanced by the Internet, with the NRF establishing its own website in July 2001. As its name suggests, Synthesis, the online Journal du Cercle de la Rose Noire, seeks a fusion of ‘Anarchy’, ‘Occulture’ and ‘Metapolitics’ with the contemporary concerns of the ecological and global justice movements. It provides a huge, counter-cultural resource (‘a junction box for esoteric, third positionism on the web’) including a vast archive of articles, essays, interviews, music and book reviews not to mention providing opportunities for its readership to showcase their art, photography, poetry and fiction. This is accompanied by a profusion of interlocking e-groups acting as a forum for ideological exchange for the more esoterically and intellectually inclined.
Synthesis was originally envisaged as a forum for the NRF, Evolians and members of the defunct White Order of Thule (Michael Lujan, former WOT secretary, is the Synthesis webmaster). However, borrowing the ‘template’ of Action Française’s ‘study groups’ Synthesis projects itself far beyond the confines of rigid definitional taxonomy to attract, so it claims, ‘Crowleyites, communists, anarchists, greens, libertarians, fascists and separatists’ who can use its facilities and e-groups to engage in debate and ideological refinement. This online convergence has the benefit of being insulated from the failure of the ‘Beyond Left and Right’ project. With a global reach, it ‘is far more useful than putting a few stickers on lamp posts’.
This extensive Internet presence masks the weakness of the groupuscular right. Obsessed by the importance of its long-term, counter-cultural projects the NRF disengaged from ‘political’ activities and retreated into the realm of ideas. Such was Southgate’s alienation from the groupuscule as an organizational form that on 29 January 2003 the NRF was disbanded altogether as Southgate concentrated on reorganizing as a ‘political think tank’ to promote and develop ‘national-anarchism’ as a philosophical concept that he hoped would come to exert a ‘formidable influence’ on the ‘anti-Capitalist struggle’.
The significance of the NRF
In itself the NRF is completely irrelevant as a political force. Its importance lies in the case study it supplies of fascism as an amorphous and continually metamorphosing phenomenon. It is symptomatic of the transient nature of far-right groupuscules that by the time this article was completed the NRF had been disbanded. Southgate’s latest activities have shifted almost entirely to the Internet, which is seen as offering the best opportunity of turning ‘national-anarchism’ into a ‘global idea’. Although these developments are taking place on the farther shores of the cultural and political fringe, this miniature struggle for cultural hegemony should not be ignored. The Anti- Defamation League (ADL) recently argued that, with the increased use of traditional anarchist symbolism by white supremacists in the United States, the circle-A should be listed as a hate symbol. The ridiculous nature of this assertion ignores the fact that it has been precisely those left-wing and anarchist subcultures maligned by the ADL who have actively fought back against the genesis of ‘national-anarchism’, disrupting and exposing it both on the street and in cyberspace. Indeed, anarchists and the radical left in Britain appear alive to the validity of Charles Peguy’s observation made over a century ago: ‘Qui dit “ni droite ni gauche” dit de droite’. It was this hostility to Southgate’s calls for ‘convergence’ that forced him to relocate his activities to the Internet where a wider audience can be reached, ‘particularly abroad where the left/right spectrum is far more blurred and open to interpretation’. As the antipathy for Green Anarchist reveals, this resistance has not always been generated by a sophisticated analysis of Southgate’s own activities but rather because it fell within the framework of pre-existing antipathy.
Although Southgate’s impact on left-wing counter-cultural concerns has been completely negligible, this case study of the NRF’s wanton intellectual cannibalism shows that groupuscular fascism poses a clear danger, particularly for ecological subcultures whose values are profoundly different from the ecological agenda mooted by the far right. The increasing ability of groupuscules like the NRF to absorb and mirror left-wing and environmental causes, effortlessly refracting their concerns about globalization and liberal democracy through their own antisemitic and racist framework, creates a dangerous conflation between ecology and anti-immigration as a way of restoring the ‘organic balance’ of nature. If this article is anything to go by, then anarchist, ecological and global justice movements need to remain on their guard in order to ensure that the revolution will not be national-Bolshevized.
~ Graham Macklin
1. I would like to thank Kevin Coogan, Martin Durham, Roger Griffin and Joe Street for their invaluable comments on an earlier draft of this article.
2. Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism, 1914–1945 (London: University College London Press 1996), 303–5. Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2005.
3. Walter Lacquer, Fascism: Past, Present and Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996), 119.
4. Martin Walker, The National Front (London: Fontana/Collins 1977).
5. Guardian, 5 July 1977 and The Times, 6 July 1977.
6. Stan Taylor, The National Front in English Politics (London: Macmillan 1989), 163–70.
7. Christopher T. Husbands, ‘The decline of the National Front: the elections of 3 May 1979’, Wiener Library Bulletin, vol. 32, no. 49/50, 1979, 60–6.
8. These include Roberto Fiore, Massimo Morsello and his wife, Amadeo de Francisci and Stefano Tiraboschi. All were convicted in Italian courts in absentia of membership of a terrorist group. Another Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari terrorist who fled to Britain was Luciano Petrone who was wanted for the murder of two policemen. He was later deported and sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Attempts by the Italian authorities to extradite Fiore and Morsello failed repeatedly, however, giving rise to speculation that while active in the Lebanon they had spied for MI6 and were now being protected by their former paymasters; see Guardian, 4 August 1998. Italy has since dropped the charges linking Fiore to the Bologna bombing, enabling him to return to Italy where he is extremely active as leader of the Forza Nuova, which has recently moved away from the periphery of Italian politics through its co-operation with the Lega Nord, which has representation in Silvio Berlusconi’s government; see Searchlight, no. 331, January 2003 and no. 333, March 2003.
9. Franco Ferraresi, ‘Julius Evola: Tradition, reaction, and the radical right’, European Sociology Journal, vol. 28, 1987, 107–49.
10. Ray Hill with Andrew Bell, The Other Face of Terror: Inside Europe’s Neo-Nazi Network (London: Grafton Books 1988).
11. David Baker, ‘A. K. Chesterton, the Strasser brothers and the politics of the National Front’, Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 19, no. 3, 1985, 23–33, argues that this ‘Strasserism’ was more attributable to the home-grown antisemitic anti-capitalism of the NF founder A. K. Chesterton.
12. Nationalism Today, no. 32, August 1985.
13. Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain: From Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts to the National Front (London: I. B. Tauris 1998), 260.
14. Derek Holland, The Political Soldier: A Statement (London: International Third Position 1994).
15. Roger Eatwell, ‘The esoteric ideology of the NF in the 1980s’, in Mike Cronin (ed.), The Failure of British Fascism: The Far Right and the Fight for Political Recognition (London: Macmillan 1996), 99–117.
16. Searchlight, no. 166, April 1989.
17. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Dan Ghetu’, Synthesis (online journal), 2001, available at http://www.rosenoire.org/interviews/southgate2.php (viewed 5 May 2005).
18. NRF, ‘Official statement on the International Third Position’, available on Synthesis website at http://www.rosenoire.org/essays/itp.php (viewed 14 May 2005).
19. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 10 September 2002.
20. ENM, The Best of Rising: A Booklet for the Political Soldier (London: Rising Press 1995).
21. Southgate also denounced Oswald Mosley as a ‘reactionary’, in his ‘Oswald Mosley: the rise and fall of English fascism between 1918–45’, n.d., available on the Synthesis website at http://www.rosenoire.org/articles/hist30.php (viewed 14 May 2005).
22. The Crusader, no. 5, n.d. and no. 6, 1996.
23. The English Alternative, no. 9, n.d.
24. ENM, The German Contribution to Revolutionary Nationalism (London: Rising Press 1995); ENM, Forgotten Ideals: National Socialism before 1933Destiny of Iron: Corneliu Codreanu and the Legion of St Michael the Archangel (London: Rising Press 1996); ENM, Foretaste of a New Dawn: Five Harbingers of the National Revolution (London: Rising Press 1995); and ENM, Poets, Prophets and Revolutionaries (London: Rising Press 1995). See also Troy Southgate, ‘Revolution vs. reaction’, n.d., available at http://www.geocities.com/bobmeyer_us/troy.html (viewed 14 May 2005). (London: Rising Press 1996); ENM,
25. ENM, Distributism: A Summary of Revolutionary Nationalist Economics (London: Rising Press 1995).
26. Muammar Qaddafi, The Green Book (London: Rising Press 1995); ENM, Popular Rule: The Authority of the English People in Post-Revolutionary Society (London: Rising Press n.d.).
27. Perspectives, no. 6, Summer 1993; Paul Charnock, ‘Eclectics in perspective’, The Scorpion, no. 17, 1996, available at thescorp.multics.org/17eclect.html (viewed 5 May 2005).
28. Troy Southgate, The Meaning of Nationalism (Dover, Kent: Rising Press 1992).
29. Despite overwhelming evidence that The Protocols is a forgery Southgate rejects this fact as ‘not proven’ or in any case irrelevant as its veracity had been borne out by subsequent events; see The Crusader, no. 6, 1996.
30. The Nexus, no. 13, August 1998. The staunchly Catholic ITP responded with a virulent assault on the prevalence of paganism within the far right, entitled Satanism and Its Allies: The Nationalist Movement under Attack (London: Final Conflict 1998). A later update singled out Southgate as a ‘Satanist’ and ‘pro-faggot’; see ‘Satanism and its allies: an update’, available on the Final Conflict website at http://www.politicalsoldier.net/satbkltupdt.html (viewed 5 May 2005). For Southgate’s response, see Paranoia in the Pews! (London: Rising Press 2000).
31. A sample of the breadth of these ideological influences includes the eastern orientated geopolitics of Francis Parker Yockey, Jean Thiriart, Aleksandr Dugin, Jean Parvulesco and Karl Haushofer; the national-Bolshevism of Ernst Niekisch and Karl Otto Paetel; the ‘left-wing’ fascism of Ledesma Ramos and Otto Strasser; the ‘legionary’ spirit of Corneliu Codreanu and Mircea Eliade; the ‘green’ fascism of Reich peasant leader Walter Darre´; the esoteric Nazism of Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano; the ‘spiritual racism’ and aristocratic Traditionalism of Julius Evola; the nihilism of Friedrich Nietzsche and anarchist revolutionary Sergei Nechayev; the conservative revolutionary thought of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck and Ernst Jünger; the psychology of C. G. Jung; the hermetic occultism of Alastair Crowley, René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon; the ‘fantastic’ fiction of Arthur Machen and the horror stories of H. P. Lovecraft; the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley; the ‘psychic art’ of Austin Osman Spare; the ‘esoteric symbolism’ of R. A. Schwaller de Lubitz, SS Grail seeker Otto Rahn and the mystic folklore of Friedrich Hielscher, founder of Das Ahnenerbe (the Society for the Study of Ancestral Heritage). These diverse figures are joined by a number of anarchists including Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, several Islamists including the Quranic scholar Seyyed Hossien Nasr, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Swiss art historian Titus Burckhardt, the explorer Sir Richard Burton who perpetuated the ‘blood libel’ myth in his book The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam (1898), not to mention black separatists Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, critics of totalitarianism George Orwell and Jack London, Marxist terrorists Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader, Catholic fantasy writers C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and French situationist Guy Debord.
32. NRF, An Introduction to National-Anarchism (London: Rising Press 1999). For more on Evola’s views on race as the embodiment of the ‘living nation’, see Julius Evola, Race as a Revolutionary Idea (London: Rising Press 2001).
33. The Nexus, no. 13, August 1998.
34. ‘National-anarchism: a reply to a leftist’, available at http://www.rosenoire.org/essays/n-a-dialogue.php (viewed 5 May 2005). This webpage appeared in response to a brief summary of ‘national-anarchism’ by ‘Lefty Hooligan’ in the punk-rock magazine Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, no. 214, March 2001.
35. Clifford Harper is the prolific anarchist illustrator, many of whose evocative woodcuts of anarchist history are collected in Clifford Harper, Anarchy: A Graphic Guide (London: Camden Press 1987).
36. Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil (London: Quartet Books 1995).
37. See ‘The Anarch’, available at http://www.angelfire.com/ak3/anarch/index.html (viewed 5 May 2005) and Abdalbarr Braun, ‘Warrior, Waldgaenger, Anarch: an essay on Ernst Junger’s concept of the sovereign individual’, 7 March 2002, available on the FluxEuropa website at http://www.fluxeuropa.com/juenger-anarch.htm (viewed 5 May 2005). For more on the concept of the Anarch, see Alain de Benoist, ‘Beyond the gods and the titans’, The Scorpion, no. 15, 1994 and no. 17, 1996, available at thescorp.multics.org/15jueng.html and thescorp.multics.org/17jueng.html (viewed 5 May 2005).
38. Southgate, The Meaning of Nationalism.
39. For reiterations of these themes, see issues of The Crusader or The English Alternative.
40. Troy Southgate, ‘Hee hee’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 28 July 2002, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/12253 (viewed 10 May 2005).
41. Troy Southgate, ‘National anarchy’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 29 April 2000, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/28 (viewed 10 May 2005).
42. Victor Anduril, Anarchic Philosophy (London: Rising Press 2000). ‘Victor Anduril’ is the pseudonym of Peter Georgacarakos, a leading member of the American group White Order of Thule (WOT), who wrote this pamphlet especially for the NRF. Currently serving a twenty-two-year sentence for cocaine dealing Georgacarakos is also awaiting trial for the 1996 murder of Randall Scott Anderson in a federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; Anderson was a white supremacist who renounced his racist beliefs and became a Muslim while serving a nine-year sentence for the attempted bombing of an ice rink frequented by African Americans. Georgacarakos and Richard Scutari (a member of the white-supremacist The Order also incarcerated in the Lewisburg prison at the time), allegedly murdered Anderson as a ‘race traitor’; see Southern Poverty Law Centre, Intelligence Report, no. 98, Spring 2000. Southgate first encountered the WOT shortly after he had left the Catholic Church in 1998 when he was ‘far more open to spiritual alternatives’. Despite the subsequent influence of Miguel Serrano, Southgate claims to have been less impressed by the esoteric Hitlerism of Crossing the Abyss (WOT’s journal to which Georgacarakos was a regular contributor) than by its ‘truly amazing’ artistic layout. Emphasizing the ideological continuity between the two groupuscules Southgate notes that Crossing the Abyss ‘served as a kind of antechamber for the decidedly more anarchistic ideas that are now coming to fruition through Synthesis’, Southgate’s online journal. To this day he believes Crossing the Abyss ‘to be the best magazine ever to come out of America’. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 17 August 2002.
43. The Crusader, no. 5, n.d.
44. ENM, Revolutionary Action: A Booklet for the Cadre (London: Rising Press 1995). In a British context Colin Jordan extolled this clandestine mode of organization in 1986 when he advocated the formation of an elite paramilitary ‘task force’ utilizing the methods of Nazi Jagdkommando leader Otto Skorzeny to bring down the state. His rejection of the ‘hopelessly unproductive’ party organization is a seminal piece of prose on the British fascist underground; see Colin Jordan, ‘Party time has ended’, National Review, no. 45, June 1986.
45. The Crusader, no. 6, 1996 and The English Alternative, no. 8, Winter–Spring 1998.
46. Guerrilla Warfare: An Introduction to the Art of Revolution (London: Rising Press 2001) and Leaderless Resistance: Where There’s a Will There’s a WayThe Crusader, no. 6, 1996, includes an exhortation to ‘take out’ the editors of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight. (London: Rising Press 2000).
47. The Crusader, no. 5, n.d. and The English Alternative, no. 9, n.d. Southgate regularly eulogized American neo-Nazi terrorist organizations like The Order and the Minutemen. Robert N. Taylor, the Minutemen’s national spokesman and director of intelligence, was a formative influence on Southgate; see Troy Southgate, Life of Fire: An Interview with Robert N. Taylor (London: Rising Press 2000). Taylor also gave the NRF the benefit of his experience as a guerrilla leader in a specially written pamphlet, R. N. Taylor, Paramilitary Operations: A Handbook (London: Rising Press 2000). The NRF also adopted the violent revolutionary terminology of Joseph Tommasi, leader of the short-lived National Socialist Liberation Front, which in turn borrowed its slogans from New Left and Maoist groups.
48. The Crusader, no. 5, n.d.
49. NRF, ‘Official statement on the International Third Position’.
50. Green Anarchist, no. 29, Winter 1991. Hunt’s former colleagues have been his most vociferous critics. Green Anarchist itself lacks a belief in positive human agency and appears entrenched in a misanthropic, ideological cul de sac eulogizing the far right’s use of indiscriminate terror against the ‘system’ as a means to achieve its own primitivist ends. Celebrating the age of ‘irrationalism’ editor Stephen Booth praised the Japanese religious sect Aum Shinrikyo responsible for the sarin gas attack on the Japanese metro and the American militia movement, particularly Timothy McVeigh who, Booth argues, had ‘the right idea’ in attacking ‘The Machine’. His stance led to a further split within Green Anarchist and its degeneration into two warring factions. For a blistering critique of Green Anarchist’s politics, see Black Flag, no. 215, 1998 and no. 217, 1999. While incorrectly attacking Green Anarchist as ‘fascist’, a devastating critique of its politics can be found in Luther Blissett and Stewart Home, Green Apocalypse (London: Unpopular Books 1995).
51. Richard Hunt, To End Poverty: The Starvation of the Periphery by the CoreThe Natural Society: A Basis for Green Anarchism and Alternative Green (Oxford: Alternative Green n.d.) and Richard Hunt, Who’s Starving Them? (Oxford: Alternative Green n.d.). (Oxford: Alternative Green 1997). See also Richard Hunt,
52. See ‘Interview with Troy Southgate (National-Anarchists, England)’, Auto, no. 7, June 2001, available on the Nationalanarchisten website at http://www.nationalanarchismus.org/Nationalanarchisten/Auto7/TroyQuestions/troyquestions.html (viewed 14 May 2005); The Nexus, no. 13, August 1998; and The English Alternative, no. 8, Winter–Spring 1998. Although the NRF rejected the compound culture of the American far right as ‘nonsense’ its own views are similar to the idea of a white Aryan ‘homeland’ espoused by Combat 18, whose imprisoned former leader, Paul ‘Charlie’ Sargent, wrote to Southgate approvingly.
53. ‘Who are the Greenshirts’, available at one time at autarky.rosenoire.org/greenshirts/whoweare.html (viewed 24 August 2002).
54. Troy Southgate, ‘FW: [GreenshirtsUSA] intro’, message to the National-Anarchist egroup, posted 30 April 2002, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/8962 (viewed 10 May 2005). The Greenshirts have an American chapter run by former neo-Nazi activist Cody Dickerson from Salt Lake City, Utah. Although small in number (its e-group has only fifteen members), the group has attracted the interest of members of the National Alliance (NA) whose ‘left/decentralist leanings’ have led to their participation in militant environmental activities like ‘tree spiking’, and to the formation of its own front group, the Anti-Globalisation Action Network, aimed at subverting these protests for its own ends. In this respect it should be noted that a NA member founded thulean-l, the e-group of WOT (see note 42) that feeds into Synthesis. This hints at a measure of ideological heterodoxy across the breadth of the contemporary far right as it tries to synthesize contemporary ‘left-wing’ concerns. See Nick Mamatas, ‘Fascists for Che: white supremacists infiltrate antiglobalization movements’, In These Times, 13 September 2002, available at http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/26/23/news1.shtml (viewed 14 May 2005).
55. Emulating the Iron Guard the NRF held ‘torchlight rituals during which small bags of earth were distributed’ to participants who were also awarded the ‘Hora Sima badge’ for feats of physical endurance. Southgate has also elicited interest from Dan Ghetu’s Letters from the Nuovo Europae website; see http://www.apoptose.net/interviews/nuovoeur.htm (viewed 14 May 2005). Synthesis has links to the Romanian Noua Dreapta (New Right), which describes itself as ‘the most serious attempt to continue the old Legionary Movement (Iron Guard) in new forms’; see http://www.nouadreapta.org (viewed 14 May 2005).
56. See the Iron Youth! website at http://www.national-anarchist.org/ironyouth/The Crusader, no. 6, 1996. (viewed 14 May 2005) and
57. Troy Southgate, ‘Re: [National-Anarchist] Zerzan on progress’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 13 May 2000, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/527 (viewed 10 May 2005).
58. Troy Southgate, ‘Transcending the beyond: from third position to national-anarchism’, Pravda.ru, 17 January 2002, available on the Beyond Left and Right website at english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/01/17/25828.html (viewed 14 May 2005). This has parallels in Hunt’s idea that ‘xenophobia’ was ‘the key to the communities success’, as it cemented communal bonds; see Hunt, The Natural Society, 3.
59. Alternative Green, no. 31, Spring 2002.
60. The English Alternative, no. 10, n.d. and The National Anarchist, no. 1, n.d.
61. Alternative Green, no. 12, Spring 1995 and Alternative Green, no. 18, Winter 1999.
62. Alternative Green, no. 24, Summer 2000. Those attending included the Wessex Regionalists, Oriflamme (mediaevalists), the Anarchic Movement (Jonothan Boulter), Albion Awake (Wayne John Sturgeon’s one-man ‘Christian anarchist’ movement), the Libertarian Alliance, the Sexual Freedom Collective, Anarchist Nihilist Accords, the New Age magazine Nexus, the Anti-Metric Society and the East London Republican Forum.
63. ‘Anarcho-Fascists attempt to organise’, n.d., available at http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/ga/anafaorg.htm (viewed 8 May 2005). See also Do or Die, no. 9, 2000. For Southgate’s response, see Chinese Whispers Meets Leftist Dogmatism (London: Rising Press n.d.). The second fair in 2001 would be attended by Peter Töpfer’s Nationale Anarchie group, ITMA Publishing run by Alexander Baron and the Socialist Party of Great Britain who have a long history of debating with anyone, including the Transeuropa Collective, with whom they organized a conference, ‘Globalisation and Regionalism’, in 1995; see Alternative Green, no. 12, Spring 1995.
64. Hunt’s ideas have attracted a number of veteran NF leaders including David Kerr, the leader of NF Ulster, Patrick Harrington, former NF chairman and Third Way leader, and Michael Walker, former NF Central London organizer who currently edits The Scorpion. Abroad Hunt’s ideas have interested Guy de Martelaere, a regular contributor to Alternative Green and previously Perspectives. de Martelaere is involved with the Flemish Nouvelle DroiteTekos, which is closely aligned with the extreme-right Vlaams BlokMiedzy faszyzmem i anarchizem. Nowe idee dla Nowej Ery (Between fascism and anarchism. New ideas for a new age). A former punk rocker, Tomasiewicz became involved in the Polish skinhead movement in which he was renowned for the publication of a violent skinhead fanzine called Fajna Gazeta. By the 1990s he had become a leading figure in the Polish section of the International Third Position, the violent Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski (National Revival of Poland), whose journal TemplumPrzelom Narodowy (National Breakthrough), publishing numerous articles in Mysl Narodowa Polska (Polish Nationalist Idea), the organ of Poland’s most voluble antisemite, Boleslaw Tejkowski. At the time of writing Tomasiewicz is the leader of Stowarzyszenie na rzecz Wielosci Kultur (Society for Cultural Diversity) and coeditor of its journal, Zakorzenienie (Rootedness), which champions the ideas of the Nouvelle Droite. His shift away from overt fascism parallels Southgate’s and he can be found regularly contributing to a range of environmental, anarchist and moderate right-wing publications in Poland and indeed Britain, including Green Options, Perspectives and Alternative Green. publication, party. They have also been influential for veteran Polish neo-fascist Jaroslaw Tomasiewicz, who discusses them in his book regularly featured his contributions. Tomasiewicz was also active in
65. Calls for the boycotting of left-wing bookshops that continued to stock Alternative Green appeared on the now-defunct online bulletin board of the militant anti-fascist group Red Action.
66. See http://www.national-anarchist.org (viewed 14 May 2005).
67. Weekly Worker, no. 363, 7 December 2000 and no. 364, 14 December 2000. While defending his actions Liddle concedes that ‘to an extent’ he was ‘duped’ by Southgate; see Terry Liddle, e-mail to the author, 1 October 2002.
68. This message was posted on the now-defunct e-groups Solidarity2 and eco-anarchy (viewed April 2001, no longer available).
69. Troy Southgate, ‘From Weekly Worker’, message on the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 11 April 2001, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/3413 (viewed 10 May 2005).
70. The Crusader, no. 5, n.d. and The English Alternative, no. 8, Winter–Spring 1998.
71. Sword of Nechayev, no. 1, n.d.
72. For reiterations of these themes, see issues of The Crusader or The English Alternative.
73. Catalyst, no. 4, 1997, no. 5, 1998 and no. 7, 1999. The extent of NRF activism should be read with caution. The NRF compiles large lists of causes it supports and activities it approves of (though may not have taken part in) to give the impression of omnipresence and disguise its obvious numerical weakness.
74. Troy Southgate, ‘A day of revolt’, message on the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 24 June 2000, available at groups.yahoo.co.uk/group/National-Anarchist/message/1563 (viewed 10 May 2005).
75 ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Wayne John Sturgeon’, 2001, available at http://www.rosenoire.org/interviews/southgate.php (viewed 8 May 2005).
76. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Dan Ghetu’.
77. The English Alternative, no, 8, Winter–Spring 1998.
78. Semitic Voice, no. 1, n.d. and The Crusader, no. 5, n.d.
79. Troy Southgate, ‘Wanted: your participation’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 7 January 2003, available at groups.yahoo.co.uk/group/National-Anarchist/message/16789 (viewed 10 May 2005).
80. Searchlight, no. 325, July 2002.
81. David Michael’s message was posted on the now-defunct Jumeirah Beach Forum (www.jumeirahbeach.com).
82. See Keith Preston’s review of Voice of the Resistance, ‘Revolt against the New World Order’, available at http://www.attackthesystem.com/votr.html (viewed 14 May 2005).
83. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 5 March 2003.
84. Troy Southgate, Manifesto of the European Liberation Front (London: Rising Press 1999). The original English representative was Patrick Harrington’s Third Way until it was replaced by Southgate’s NRF. Other affiliates included Christian Bouchet’s Nouvelle Resistance (France), Devenir, Mouvement Nation and Odal-Aktiekomitee (Belgium), Nieuwe Weestand (Holland), Richter and Freiheit Volk Bewegung (Germany), Nouvelle Resistance (Switzerland), Orion and Rivolta/Gruppi Autonomi Solidarista (Italy), Fenriks and Przelom Narodowy (Poland), Aleksandr Dugin’s Natsionalno-Bolshevistskaia Partii and Arctogaia (Russia), JP (Portugal), Juan Antonio Llopart’s Alternativa Europea, which operates as part of the Movimiento Social Republicano (Spain), and Revolution (Greece). For more detail, see the special issue, ‘The ‘‘groupuscular right’’: a neglected political genus’, Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 36, no. 3, July 2002.
85. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 10 September 2002. See also Catalyst, no. 6, 1998 and no. 7, 1999.
86. See, for instance, Aleksandr Dugin, The Seminal Writings of Alexander Dugin, 3 vols (London: Rising Press 2000) and Aleksandr Dugin, The Eurasian Manifesto: The Crisis of Ideas in Contemporary Russia (Rising Press: London 2001). Another key Eurasian influence is Belgian Nouvelle Droite ideologue Robert Steuckers; see ‘Synthesis interviews Robert Steuckers’, 2001, available at http://www.rosenoire.org/interviews/steuckers.php (viewed 9 May 2005).
87. The NRF reprinted an article on Thiriart’s ideas published by Christian Bouchet in The English Alternative, no. 10, n.d. Further evidence of Thiriart’s impact on the NRF can be found in Carlo Terracciano, Jean Thiriart: Prophet and Militant (London: Rising Press 2000). The Moscow visit and Thiriart’s wider influence on post-war European fascism is discussed in detail in Kevin Coogan, Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Post-War Fascist International (New York: Autonomedia 1999), 532–52.
88. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Dan Ghetu’.
89. Troy Southgate, ‘Julius Evola: a radical traditionalist’, Pravda.ru , 11 May 2002, available at http://english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/05/11/28502.htmlPoliarnaia Zvezda (Polar Star); see ‘Dlia Rossii vazhno sokhranit’ svoiu funktsiiu kontinental’noi skrepy’ (It is important for Russia to preserve her function as a counter balance), 21 February 2003, available (in Russian) at zvezda.ru/article.php?area/1&id/100&sub/10 (viewed 9 May 2005). (viewed 9 May 2005). Southgate has also been interviewed for the Russian website
90. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Dan Ghetu’ and The National Anarchist, no. 1, n.d. See also the Eurasian Movement webpage, available at http://www.national-anarchist.org/eurasia (viewed 14 May 2005).
91. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Wayne John Sturgeon’. See also Jeffrey Kaplan, Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press 1997), 69–100.
92. The leader of the Charlemagne Hammer Skins was Herve Guttuso, a French fascist resident in England since 1995. In December 1997 he was arrested as part of an Anglo-French investigation into death threats sent to prominent Jewish celebrities and politicians in France. Guttuso was arrested at the Essex flat he shared with Steve Sargent who led the National Socialist Movement, a violent groupuscule whose most infamous member was the London ‘nail bomber’ David Copeland. The NSM’s chief ideologue, David Myatt, was a long-time occultist as was Guttoso, who was connected to the desecration of a Catholic cemetery in Toulon in 1997, which led to the arrest of several members of the French Satanist group Deo Occidi, of which Guttuso was also allegedly a member. Deo Occidi was the French chapter of Kerry Bolton’s Black Order of Pan Europa, which was affiliated to Southgate’s LCRN. The Black Order later split with the North American faction and emerged, with Bolton’s blessing, as WOT (see note 42), a formative influence on Southgate.
93. ‘Vive la revolution: an interview with the National Secretary of the ENM’, The English Alternative, no. 8, n.d.
94. Julian’s brief tenure lasted from CE 361 to 363. An early convert to paganism and neo-Platonic mysticism, Julian aroused the considerable antagonism of his Christian contemporaries because of his attempt to revitalize paganism by reviving the cult of Apollo at Daphne near Antioch, which entailed large-scale blood sacrifices. Christians were further alarmed by his dream of restoring the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which implied the symbolic defeat of Christianity by directly challenging the teachings of Jesus that no stone of the Temple would be left on another. See Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire AD 284–430 (London: Fontana Press 1993), 85–98.
95. Troy Southgate, ‘Re: Julian and religious tolerance’, message to the ivlianvs e-group, posted 19 January 2000, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/ivlianvs/message/56 (viewed 14 May 2005).
96. The English Alternative, no. 9. n.d.
97. ‘Synthesis editor Troy Southgate interviewed by Dan Ghetu’.
98. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 5 March 2003.
99. Although The Crusader initially championed the more traditional canons of White Power music, including the Blood and Honour network and bands like Brutal Attack, Southgate has recently focused on bands like Endura (previously called Abraxas) (‘the pinnacle of ‘sinister’ music’) and Allerseelen whose leading light is Austrian occultist ‘Kadmon’, the editor of the journal Aorta. A rare performance by Endura at the Deadly Actions II industrial music festival in 1995 was ‘poorly received’ due to an accompanying visual show that featured ‘executions, torture, government oppression, mob violence, hardcore porn, Balkan war crimes and Janis Joplin at Woodstock’. Endura harbours a deep antipathy for ‘sub-humanity’ and was planning to record an album featuring excerpts from their correspondence with serial killer Dennis Nilson. Another similarly misanthropic Black Metal band that interests Southgate is Puissance, who called 9/11 ‘a good thing to happen’. For a fascinating view of the origins of this attempt to move beyond the confines of White Power music, see Kevin Coogan, ‘How ‘‘Black’’ is Black Metal?’, Hit List, vol. 1, no. 1, February/March 1999.
100. Guardian, 7 July 2004.
101. The English Alternative, no. 10, n.d.
102. Troy Southgate, ‘Black Metal’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 29 August 2000, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/1658 (viewed 10 May 2005).
103. Tribal Resonance, nos 1 and 2, 1998; Alternative Green, no. 33, 2003 and The English Alternative, no. 9, n.d.
104. Roger Griffin, ‘Notes on the definition of fascist culture: the prospects for synergy between liberal and Marxist heuristics’, Renaissance and Modern Studies, vol. 42, Autumn 2001, 95–115.
105. Synthesis is available at http://www.rosenoire.org (viewed 10 May 2005).
106. Troy Southgate, e-mail to the author, 23 August 2002.
107. Troy Southgate, ‘Re: [National-Anarchist] NRF website’, message to the National-Anarchist e-group, posted 11 August 2002, available at groups.yahoo.com/group/National-Anarchist/message/12669 (viewed 10 May 2005).
108. Troy Southgate, e-mails to the author, 28 and 29 January 2003.