Monday, July 18, 2005

oh, brain hurts from bad collision

This evening (Sunday from midnight to around 1am) I was seeking websites that championed various militia and Posse Comitatus types as heroes (it's research for my book.) In the process, I came across the website of the self-important Keith Preston, who claims to have found the type of anarchism superior to all others. He has reached it by being not one thing or another, not a leftist nor a rightist, but rather a combiner of all that is fine from all that there is. Generally, I find such claims to be connected to an attitude of great superiority, and I find arrogance and superiority to be generally maddening qualities. I know nothing about this person, but was instantly annoyed by his attacks on the left, and surprised by his ability to find compatible ideas in the work of Noam Chomsky, Pat Buchanan, Charles Murray and Robert Nozick. He calls himself an anarcho-socialist, yet believes in the free-market and loves the work of Max Stirner. I can understand, given his simultaneous praise for a utopian community of small producers and his apparent enjoyment of racist apologists, why some left-anarchists might have called him a fascist. Indeed, I made it to his website from some weird racist site claiming to have developed "national anarchism."
....So, there are some worthwhile books out there that examine anarchist/fascist connections. One focuses on the problematic theoretical foundations of that individualist anarchist, Max Stirner (St. Max, as Marx called him) whose ideas were so compatible with fascism in the 1920s. The most famous, and probably the best book on the subject is by Zeev Sternhell.
Another intriguing discussion of anarchist/fascist connections appears in a pamphlet by "Luther Blisset," (...I'm assuming that this "Blisset" is some anarchist group that has adopted the identity of British football player, Luther Blisset. There is a fairly hilarious BBC article about the phenom. here.)
But how could one be both anarchist and fascist? Hannah Arendt makes at least part of the explanation in The origins of Totalitarianism...under fascism the leader is completely free from all laws. This wish for complete lack of personal accountability seems to me to be central to individualist anarchist ideology, and quite compatible with both sides of authority in fascism. Leaders are above the law, and the followers have surrendered to the leader - and thus are also not accountable. I find it all odious.
Enough. I looked at the time and realized.... only a few hours from now, I'll be back in the insanely cold library, where it is January until mid-October, at which point it becomes July. Who can understand it?

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