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Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Fascism

Éric Zemmour Faces Street Protests, With More to Come.

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Éric Zemmour tiendra un meeting le 5 décembre au Zénith de Paris

Planned Meeting Faces Protests.

In the Conclusion to his self-published selfie, La France n’a pas dit son dernier mot (2021) Éric Zemmour speaks of how his homeland has often faced death. On each occasion an invader has swamped her soil by armed force, occupying whole slices of the territory. There have been civil wars. A section of “nos élites” has taken the side of the “empire of the moment” against the people – in the name of a “universalism” gone astray. The empires were in succession, British, Spanish and German..

Yet, he perorates on the page, each time La France found a Man of Destiny (“Homme Providential”), Joan of Arc (sic), Bonaparte, de Gaulle. Each time, he continues, choked through with emotion, a handful of French people has gathered together around the principles that have guided the nation for a thousand years, whether it be the Capetian Monarchy or the Republic. Their names? Sovereignty of the nation against the empires, sovereignty of the state against the feudal barons, sovereignty of civilisation against the barbarians (“barbares”).

Across the world, the patriot thunders, the Great Nations have returned to their glorious past. The Russians have brought together the Czars and Stalin, China has synthesised Confucius and Mao, Turkey has fused the Ottoman Empire with Ataturk and the Islamic Umma, Britain has championed Peppa Pig World, Moses and the noise of an accelerating car.

Okay I made that last one up, but this writer is already bored with Zemmour’s opinons…

Despite his admiration for Joan of Arc and rude words about the British Empire ,Éric Zemmour has found friends in the UK. Fellow hard right nationalists that is,

Eric Zemmour: Macron’s nemesis taking France by storm

“..Zemmour looks down at a copy of The Spectator and cocks his eyebrows at the unflattering cartoon of him on the cover. He decides he doesn’t care. ‘It takes a lot to offend me, you know,’ he says. He then leafs through the magazine making polite and appreciative noises. ‘Ah, Doooglas Murray!’ he exclaims. ‘I like Doooglas Murray very much. We’ve exchanged ideas.’”

What are his views?

“His plans include reintroducing border controls, suspending Schengen border-free rules for two years and, according to a member of his team in charge of European topics, ignoring rulings from the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union — despite France being bound to the latter — on issues such as immigration and government subsidies.” (Politico)

A public meeting will be held in Paris on December 5 at the Zénith, which could, according to his entourage, be the first meeting of a campaign for the presidential election.

Visit to Geneva yesterday, 300 people came to listen to Zemmour.

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Also, yesterday, Geneva: “We hate Zemmour”.

And not everybody in France loves Zemmour.

Call for a Protest against Zemmour on the occasion of his Zénith meeting, by the CGT Union Federation’s Paris wing.

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Written by Andrew Coates

November 25, 2021 at 1:17 pm

US Far-Right celebrates Kyle Rittenhouse Acquittal as Protests break out.

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Girlfriend of Anthony Huber, man fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse, speaks  out

As French Presidential would-be candidate the national populist hardliner Éric Zemmour receives the backing of the violent outer fringes of the extreme right (the latest, Les Vilains Fachos, to add to la Famille Gallicane, who train in forests by shooting at caricatures of Jews, Muslims and Black people) and the far-right prepares to demonstrate today in Austria against new Covid measures, a reminder that racism and fascism are international phenomena that extend across the Atlantic. (1)

Sat, 20 November 2021,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police Friday night declared as a riot a demonstration downtown against the acquittal of a teen who killed two people and injured another during a protest in Wisconsin.

The protest of about 200 people was declared a riot after protesters started breaking windows, throwing objects at police and talked about burning down the Justice Center, KOIN TV reported.

The protesters gathered following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Oregon, Portland officials react to Kyle Rittenhouse not-guilty verdict: ‘Our hearts and souls are heavy’

Rittenhouse, now 18, killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, then shot to death Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, in the summer of 2020 during a protest over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.

He claimed self-defense and was acquitted of all charges, including homicide and attempted homicide. He used an AR-style semi-automatic rifle, a weapon authorities said was illegally purchased for him because he was underage.

“Here in Portland especially it’s reasonable to expect there will be some type of reaction to the verdict,” Lovell said during a general news conference scheduled before the verdict was announced. “We’re supportive of peaceful protests, people exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Here’s a look at what others said:

Sandy Chung, executive director of Oregon ACLU, released a statement: “Our hearts and souls are heavy. We have so much anger, sorrow, and despair for the repeated violence and lack of accountability perpetuated by systemic racism and white supremacy. This jury verdict shows us again that anti-Black racism remains deeply embedded in our country’s consciousness and systems, including the legal system.”

Kyle Rittenhouse verdict – live: Protests across America as Biden ‘angry and concerned’ by decision

Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all counts in his homicide trial, after four days of tense jury deliberations. The 18-year-old became visibly emotional as the verdict was read, seeming to cry and hyperventilate before hugging one of his attorneys.

Conservative politicians around the country celebrated the decision, with GOP congressman Madison Cawthorn offering Mr Rittenhouse an internship, and telling supporters to “be armed, be dangerous, and be moral” while exercising the right to self-defense.

Others, like writer and critic Roxane Gay, said the decision “emboldens white supremacist vigilantes.”

The White House on Friday said it was in touch with law officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about the controversial verdict, with press secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters, “We are supporting any effort towards peaceful protests.”

Mr Rittenhouse, 18, was facing five felony charges for shooting three men in the aftermath of police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 25 August 2020.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley called for any protests following the verdict to be peaceful.

“We ask that all members of the public accept the verdicts peacefully and not resort to violence,” he wrote in a statement on Friday.

Former president Donald Trump congratulated Rittenhouse on Friday, who is scheduled to speak with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.

See: Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

(1) From

Zemmour’s tiresome ‘when-will-he-finally-declare’ campaign is is said to be running out of steam as he struggles to win over the necessary local elected figures for his Presidential nomination and his organisation looks decidedly shaky. From the best sources (Libération) ….Les équipes d’Eric Zemmour doutent, sa campagne marque le pas

Written by Andrew Coates

November 20, 2021 at 9:39 am

How to Stop Fascism, History, Ideology, Resistance. Paul Mason. A Review.

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Paul Mason on Twitter: "How To Stop Fascism: History, Ideology, Resistance  comes out this Thursday, published by Allen Lane in ebook, audiobook and  hardback ... check my website https://t.co/6qVyE4t2Pb to preorder👇🏼…  https://t.co/8eF21dOJ2p"

How to Stop Fascism, History, Ideology, Resistance. Paul Mason. Allen Lane 2021.

Last weekend there were demonstrations across the world for “freedom”, against Health Passes and all Covid-19 restrictions. In London There was a presence of anti-vaxxers London saw one of Britain’s best known, Covid Confusionist Piers Corbyn out yelling about Vaccination centres. In France the far-right, Florian Philippot’s Patriotes and a galaxy of extreme-right groupuscules marched in many towns and cities, sometimes physically clashing with far-left protestors, also opposed to Macron’s Pass Sanitaire.

At a rally against anti-Semitism called the Réseau contre l’anti-semitisme place Baudoyer in the 4th arrondissement held by the some of the best people you could   ever wish to meet, from the Ligue des Droits de l’homme (founded after the Dreyfus Affair), moderate left-wingers, greens, civil society campaigns, the radical left, including to the anarchist federation. Speakers denounced the prevalence of anti-Semitic ideas circulating in the movement against the Health Pass. A few hundred attended. The anti-Pass movement drew fewer numbers than in previous weeks, down to around 80,000 across France – at their height in July 200,000 marched across the country.

Today “Fascism is back” writes Paul Mason (site). Right-wing populist parties have not stemmed its rise. The failures of free-market globalisation have turned established ideas to dust. Right wing populists, in power in countries like Hungary and Poland with influence across Europe, and with the (former) Donald Trump Presidency, no longer act as a “firewall” that stops the flames of fascism spreading from the more extreme right.  Fascism has grown, he says, through the “salience of its ideas” spread through social media.

Neoliberalism is broken, the “neo-liberal self” is in crisis, competitive democracy is decaying, the planet is burning, the pandemic has been a golden opportunity for extreme conspiracy movements, The “sudden ideological collapse of neo-liberalism and rapid concentration of online power into the hands of the far right” has combined with these developments. This indicates¸ How to Stop Fascism argues,  “Fascism, is “a recurrent symptom of system-failure under capitalism.”

“In the 2000s it is possible that the rules-based global order will shrive, even if a few, isolated right-wing populist regimes persist. But it is more likely that the world order will break, that we need up with competing power blocs…. that will force through the globalisation that prevailed between 1989 and 2008.” In this “fascism” – while the far right considers itself the sworn enemy of the “globalists” – will be a “willing helper.”

The appeal of modern fascists, which have “spread rapidly through social media” is to offer a “new utopia based on racism, misogyny and violence”. Their goal is “a global race war that reshapes the world into ethnic monocultures.” What the American neo-Nazis call “leaderless resistance” are one part of “movements perpetrating symbolic violence against the left, minorities and democratic institutions.” Indeed, such is their strength that there “is a non-negligible risk of a fascist breakthrough”.

Fascist Ideology.

The rallying call, based on anti-fascist ethos’ has to be, Mason argues an “alternative vision and an alternative practice” has to be axed around new forms of the Popular Front. The “mutually hostile offshoots from the Enlightenment, liberalism and Marxism, can at least now mount a joint defence operation against fascism.” This democratic front, assuming that either of these diverse sides would wish such an alliance, is probably the argument of this important book that will get the most attention.

Paul Mason offers many well-argued passages about the nature of fascism, citing writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt (totalitarianism as the “temporary alliance of the mob and the elite’, William Reich (fascism as the ‘fear of freedom), Eric Fromm (who developed this idea);) the historian John Paxton (‘stages’ of how fascism develops) and Ernest Nolte (his earlier writing, underlining fascism’s anti-Marxism). Whether these replace or add to Marxist explanations of the role of fascism in crushing and atomising working class movements, is open to debate. No doubt there will be those who wish to defend a “united front” (the Trotsky version) against Mason’s history and defence of the Popular Front in Spain and France.

The (relative) free-floating ability of fascist ideology to take ideas from all sources, including anti-democratic currents on the left, or, more directly the claim that it grew from ” a synthesis of anti-materialist socialism and nationalism” (Zeev Sternhell) is another avenue to be explore. Red-Brown movements, defending both ‘Britain’ and the “Working class, taking bits from ‘Marxism’-Leninism’ and patriotic tub-thumping have not disappeared.

The confusion between left and right, or the far-right claim to be neither right nor left, is explored in Ni droite ni gauche. L’idéologie fasciste en France (1983) and other writing by Zeev Sternhell. although his views on Georges Sorel, like Paul Mason’s, have been hotly contested in other studies of the revolutionary syndicalist , L’Illusion du politique. Shlomo Sand. 2986). Sternhell gives a much denser (if often contestable) account of ideological shifting and confusion than, say, the ‘discourse’ approach to populism and fascism of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe

Today in France many defenders of the ‘somewhere’ ‘peripheral’ real national and working class people against ‘metropolitan elites’ trace the original fault of the French left to that experience. It dates back to the late 19th century Boulangist movement, when a section of the left initially welcomed the anti-Parliamentary agitation around the ‘Charismatic’ General Boulanger, along with anti-Semites, royalists and ultra-nationalists, while others stood with republican democracy. This alliance, formal and informal, reached at a peak during the Dreyfus affair, when socialists of many stripes co-operated with the republicans and ‘bourgeois’ democratic side. This early ‘human rights left’ was incarnated in the figure of the socialist and democratic Marxist Jean Jaurès.

Populism.

Enzo Traverso has suggest that populism” is a style, not an ideology. We can see that in British P.M Boris Johnson’s bluster and British boosting, the populist identity ‘anti-woke’ politics of Spiked, and GB News. But it there more at stake? Post-fascism Traverso argues, is not ideologically as strong as that embodied in the fascist regimes of the 1930s, embodied in totalising mass parties, and, above all, states. Ethno-states are the banner of a fringe. The far right today is a machine manufacturing demands for economic protectionism, national sovereignty and the defence of “national identities. (Les nouveaux visages du fascisme, 2017)

This right is interested in  “identification” controls of the population, registering and documenting foreigners, criminals, subversives, and the control of nations imagined as if there were “living bodies “ (corps vivants). The French Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen stands for, as it has done since the days of the Front National, la préférence nationale, giving nationals preference over others. This is a realisable programme, not gestures and ways of addressing and claiming to speak for the “people” and attacking the metropolitan ‘left’ ‘liberal’ elite.

Éric Zemmour, potential candidate in the 2002 French Presidential elections to Marine Le Pen’s right, now standing at above 10% in opinion polls, talks of a rigorous policy of assimilation – extending to forenames. (1) Zemmour, who is of a North African Jewish background has promoted the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, contending that Frances population will be replaced by immigrants. Yet biological racism seems largely absent. By contrast the marginal US Richard B. Spencer, influenced by the French Nouvelle Droite, and despite this ‘culturalist’ background, says bluntly “Race is the Foundation of Identity. “ Nobody is talking of Spencer or his race-comrades, as future contenders in electoral American politics

Going into the backdrop to the support for national populism and the far right Mason tackles the ‘culture wars’. He makes many acute observations on the “new divisions in the working class”, a globally spread “reactionary ethos” and a “new kind of working class conservatism”. He offers some hope that the “new working class” in urban areas can be drawn into progressive movement- or, as those who are close by will say, often to be on “our – the left’s – side”. Put simply many do not put up with appeals to some mystical common heritage when they know and experience what being working class, always close to, if not on, benefits, has become.

But it is not just the material problems that causal, ‘flexible’, employment have brought with them that are an obstacle to the left, Parts of the left itself have contributed to the confusion that allows national populist ideas to get hold. In Britain the ‘Lexit’ supporters of Brexit imagine that national sovereignty, Parliamentary power, could break the strength of ‘neo-liberal’ EU. There is also the issue of ultra anti-Zionists, a marginal but real presence on the left, with its own Rothschild conspiracy theories.

National Neo-liberalism.

Neoliberalism, what Paul Mason has called in the past, ‘national neo-liberalism’ – the dominance of private enterprise extend right into public functions with a dose of global ‘buccaneering’ trade deals – has not gone away. The collapse of classic borderless neo-liberalism has been replaced by ‘more borders’ national populism and internal economic liberalism. It was never a ‘firewall’ against the fascist right, but a shifting ground where themes from the extreme meet up with classic conservative nationalism, the ‘rooted’ politics of the old ruling classes, the new surveillance capitalism, popular and working class conservatism, and right wing identity politics. Or, to put it simply, a bridge to a bigger political audience.

The left needs the kind of call to arms against these new forms of right and far-right politics made by Paul Mason, even if we may not agree on the details of his programme. Against the far-right and against populism alliances with democrats, socialists and progressives (which formed the basis of 1970s anti-National Front campaigning) are needed. Yet, how, people will ask, exactly can they be fought if their matrix is in the hyper-reality of cyberspace? There does not look like a systematic return to the street marches and direct confrontations of previous decades, though some kind of counter-protests at anti-vaxx events would be welcome.

There remains one issue. Is, looking at things more simply, a mass movement – even virtually – that we can call Fascism really on the march to power, or decisive influence? How far have they got? Are they really, even in the bud, headed for a ‘breakthrough’? The limited physical and electoral presence of the fascist right, even their broader identitarian fronts, and the shrinking attendance at the anti-Health pass events in France, not countered by a rise in this agitation across the world last weekend  suggests that they have some way to go.

(1) This is not a joke. Zemmour has said he would make French forenames compulsory for children: Le polémiste d’extrême droite Éric Zemmour… souhaiterait interdire en France les prénoms d’origine étrangère. There is a lot, a lot, more to say about Zemmour, from his defence of Vichy, his loathing of May 68, to his ‘masculinist’ hatred of feminism. Eric Zemmour: A French Trump or a French Farage? John Lichfield

*****

A National Populist review:

If this is ‘anti-fascism’, count me out. Brendan O’Neill.

It is hard to know where to start with How To Stop Fascism. Parts of it are just batshit crazy. 

I knew the Remain elites felt a visceral hostility towards the working-class communities that ensured a victory for Brexit, but even I did not know that it ran this deep, that it was giving rise to a new theory of fascism that views the working classes as the likely key component in the next mass panic of authoritarianism. This explains Mason’s hostility to democracy. Even in this book in which he lists the view of democracy as ‘dispensable’ as a core fascistic belief, Mr Mason cannot help but expose that his fear of populism is at root a fear of the democratic will. He slams the charismatic leaders of the new right for fetishising the ‘will of the people’.

 …this is the 21st-century Labour left summed up. It is a poisonously elitist project. If fascism were ever to return, I know who I would trust to stand against it – not Mason and the other cushioned, comfortable loathers of democracy who make up the supposedly radical left, but rather ordinary working people who oppose extremism, are wary of experts who claim to have all the answers, and who believe that national sovereignty is really worth fighting for

Written by Andrew Coates

September 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm