Sunday, June 24, 2007

Revolutionary Despair

Joel S. Hirschhorn, contrairian author and former congressional staffer, has written an interesting article on revolution in America and why it isn’t happening. He notes that the approval rating of both the president and congress hovers around the 25% mark, and that polls show 68% of Americans do not believe the country is headed in a positive direction. Despite this dissatisfaction with the state of political affairs, the U.S. remains in a decidedly non-revolutionary mindset. Hirschhorn feels this lack of revolutionary fervor is due to a dumbing-down of the American public:

The rational way to understand this is that ordinary, oppressed Americans are in a deep psychological state of self-delusion. Despite all the empirical, objective evidence of a failed government, they fail to see rebellion opportunities…they are not feeling enough pain to seriously consider rebellion. And it is visceral pain that must drive people to the daring act of rebellion.

In this, Hirschhorn is quite correct. As long as people’s lives are reasonably comfortable and stable, they will see little reason to rebel. There will of course always be revolutionary fringes on the far left and right, but most people will be content to allow the existing political order to continue so long as their material needs are being met. Hirschhorn believes that weaning people away from their petty luxuries and educating them can alter this state of affairs and awaken people to their right to call for a new constitutional convention. I would disagree in that I think Americans as a whole would have no interest in rebellion even if they had less consumer toys to play with. Most people in this country, if not ecstatically happy, are at least content with their day-to-day lives. Revolutions have historically occurred only in nations where people’s basic physical needs are not being met. So long as most Americans have adequate food, shelter, and clothing, they will not want to risk their stable lives for the uncertainty of revolutionary upheaval. Bitching about the state of the American government acts as a safe way for citizens to blow off steam while not seriously risking their comfortable existence. This of course bodes ill for revolutionary groups in general. Until such a time as circumstances make most Americans feel truly desperate, their causes will have little chance of success.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eric Rudolf: Unrepentant Terrorist

Eric Rudolph has led an interesting life. He started his path towards infamy by carrying out bombings at abortion clinics, gay bars, and most notably the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Several of these bombings deliberately targeted law enforcement personal, and resulted in two deaths as well as several serious injuries. Sensing that the FBI was closing in, Rudolph fled to the wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains, were he successfully evaded capture (possibly with the help of others) for five years. Rudolph accepted a plea deal in 2005 that spared him the death penalty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Rudolph has put the time to good use, writing several lengthy essays that have been published his website. The articles paint Rudolph as being much more intelligent than one might initially think. His justifications for his terrorist acts as logical and consistent, if rather warped in their premises. He writes an engaging article dismissing pacifism as being an inherently illogical and hypocritical creed, while bashing feminism using good old-fashioned conservative misogyny. Speaking of conservatism, Rudolph is surprisingly hard to pin down ideologically. It would be easy to write him off as a Protestant fundamentalist nut, especially since his website is hosted by the charming folks over at the Army of God website. Rudolph is a practicing Catholic, once attended a Christian Identity church, and peppers his webpage with biblical passages. However, he expresses an admiration for Friedrich Nietzsche, which is to say the least unusually for a right-wing Christian. In fact, his fusion of Catholic thought and his survival-of-the-fittest, pro-terrorist outlook makes him unique in the annals of right wing extremism. Of course, his intelligence and interesting worldview do not lessen the horror of the crimes he committed. Rudolph shows absolutely no remorse for his actions, and in fact offers condescending criticisms to his victims. I for one am glad he will die in prison.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Extreme Politics News Roundup

Two of the Nazi f*ckwits who took part in the killing that led to the “Skinhead Slayer” story reported on here earlier were both sentenced to more than twenty years in prison a couple of weeks ago. It was revealed that while in jail the defendants made phone calls in which they mocked the murdered boy’s funeral and talked about beating people up in prison. Truly a couple of class acts.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has posted the court documents detailing the charges against Kevin Strom on their website. And let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. Strom apparently stalked a ten-year-old girl, writing her poems and love songs, including the line “my love for her is not a sin”. A secret witness (who can only be Strom’s ex-wife Elisha) has testified that he is in fact an admitted pedophile. As Strom is the former head of National Vanguard and a fairly prominent white power theorist, this is all a bit embarrassing for the white nationalists out there. Perhaps predictably, I haven’t been able to find a word about this on any of the white power discussion boards.

And in one more piece of neo-Nazi news, it turns out that Jason Kenneth Hamilton, the man who carried out the shooting rampage in Moscow, Idaho a few weeks back that resulted in the deaths of three people was card-carrying member of the Aryan Nations. Given that the group probably doesn’t have more than a hundred dues paying members at this point, this says something about the losers who did decide to stick around.

Speaking of losers, the Red and Anarchist Action Network (RAAN) recently announced that they had forwarded the cause of the revolution by injecting industrial adhesive into 150 parking meters in Lexington, Kentucky. The RAAN press release urged readers to agitate “FOR SOCIAL EQUALITY THROUGH SOCIAL UNREST! UP THE NIHILISTIC ATTACK ON SOCIAL ORDER!” OK guys, I’ll get right on that. But could you please not use both anarchist and Soviet symbols on your logo? You stupidity is actually making my head hurt.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Sad Story Of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were an attractive young unmarried couple from Knoxville, Tennessee. On the night of January 7th, 2007, they were abducted, robbed, repeatedly raped, and murdered by a group of four men and one woman. Their mutilated bodies were found shortly afterwards, and all persons involved with the crime were arrested. This might have been just another particularly heinous crime in the annals of American history had it not been for the fact that the victims looked like this:

And the perpetrators looked like this:

Predictably, the white power people picked up the ball and ran with it, claiming that this was clearly a racial crime, and that the media was not classifying it as a hate crime out of political correctness. Even some conservatives got into the fray, maintaining that the national media was not covering the crime as thoroughly as they would if the races of the perpetrators and victims had been reversed. Alex Linder of Vanguard News Network organized a neo-Nazi rally in Knoxville to protest the killings, which led to a small racist turnout, lots of counter demonstrators, and Linder being arrested. It’s worth noting that all of this hoopla has in fact led to the sort of media coverage of the crime that the white power people had been calling for from the beginning. It is also significant that the parents of the murdered couple have publicly stated that they do not believe the killing were racially motivated, and that their children were not racists and would never approve of neo-Nazis using their tragedy for propaganda purposes. Not that the boneheads in question would ever care about the views of the people whose deaths they seem so quick to exploit.