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National-Anarchism is a radical, anti-capitalist, anti-statist, right-wing political and cultural ideology which emphasizes ethnic tribalism. As a prelude to a racial civil war and the collapse of the capitalist system, National-Anarchists seek to establish völkisch autonomous village-communities, which have seceded from the stateâs economy, as no-go areas for unwelcomed ethnic groups and state authorities.
The term National Anarchism dates back as far as the 1920s. However, it has been primarily redefined and popularized since the 1990s by British ideologue Troy Southgate to promote a synthesis of ideas from the Conservative Revolutionary movement, Traditionalist School, Third Positionism, Nouvelle Droite, and various anarchist schools of thought. National-Anarchists therefore argue they hold a syncretic political stance that is "beyond left and right" because the conventional leftâright political spectrum is obsolete and should be replaced with a centralist-decentralist paradigm.
Scholars have concluded that National-Anarchism represents a further evolution in the thinking of the radical right rather than an entirely new dimension. National-Anarchism has elicited skepticism and outright hostility from both left- and right-wing critics. The former accuse National-Anarchists of misappropriating a sophisticated left-wing anarchist critique of problems with the modern world only to offer neo-fascism as the solution, while the latter argue they want the militant chic of calling themselves anarchists without the historical and philosophical baggage that accompanies such a claim.
The term National Anarchist dates back as far as the 1920s, when Helmut Franke, a German conservative revolutionary writer, used it to describe his political stance. However, it would be the writings of other members of the Conservative Revolutionary movement, such as Ernst Jünger, which would later provide the philosophical foundation of the contemporary National-Anarchist movement.
In the United Kingdom during the early 1980s, the Black Ram Group, a far-left groupuscule which briefly promoted a synthesis of anarchism, neopaganism and völkisch nationalism, described its worlview as being National Anarchist and Anarcho-Nationalist. The Black Ram Group remained within the mainstream anarchist consensus of anti-racism and anti-sexism. Its positive evaluation of nationalism derived not from any roots in far right political organisations, but from the theoretical consideration that:
the pseudo-'nationalism' of the 'nation-State' - which anarchists unequivocally oppose...must be distinguished from the nationalism of the people (Volk) which in its more consistent expressions is a legitimate rejection of both foreign domination and internal authoritarianism, i.e. the State.
However, the present usage of term National-Anarchist derives from Hans Cany, editor of the French Satanist music magazine Requiem Gothique, who first used the term in the early 1990s, along with the related terms National-Libertarian and Anarcho-Identitarian.
Around the same time, British editor Richard Hunt left the editorial board of Green Anarchist magazine, due to a disagreement over political strategies, and formed his own journal, Alternative Green. Due to Alternative Green's policy of publishing articles from across the political spectrum, the remaining Green Anarchist staff constantly accused Hunt of supporting fascism and a red-green-brown alliance, while British left-anarchist writer Stewart Home accused both Alternative Green and Green Anarchist of supporting ecofascism.
In the mid-1990s, Troy Southgate, a former member of the British National Front and founder of the International Third Position, began to move away from Stasserite Nazism and Catholic distributism towards new anarchism and the primitivist green anarchism articulated in Hunt's 1997 book To End Poverty. However, he fused his anarchist views with the radical traditionalism of Italian esotericist Julius Evola and the ethnopluralism and pan-European nationalism of French New Right philosopher Alain de Benoist to create a newer form of National-Anarchism. For a period, Southgate was a member of Alternative Green's editorial board, which he had hoped could become a platform to disseminate his National-Anarchist views into the green anarchist movement.
In 1998, inspired by the concept of the Political Soldier and leaderless resistance, Southgate formed the National Revolutionary Faction (NRF) as a clandestine cell system of professional revolutionaries conspiring to overthrow the British state. The NRF stressed this was a "highly militant strategy" and advised that some members may only fund the organization. Southgate claims that the NRF took part in anti-vivisection protests in August 2000 alongside hunt saboteurs and the Animal Liberation Front by following a strategy of entryism, but its only known public action under the National-Anarchist name was to hold an Anarchist Heretics Fair in October 2000, in which a number of fringe groups participated. However, after a coalition of green anarchists and anti-fascists blocked three further events from being held in 2001, Southgate and the NRF abandoned this strategy and retreated to purely disseminating their ideas in Internet forums. The NRF had long been aware of the bridging power of the Internet, which provided it with a reach and influence hitherto not available to the groupuscular right. It thus became part of the Euro-American radical right, a virtual community of European and American right-wing extremists seeking to establish a new pan-national identity for all people of Indo-European descent based on race. Later, Southgate disavowed guerrilla warfare in favor of back-to-the-land counter-economics to achieve his aims, and disbanded the NRF in 2003.
Shortly after Southgate and other NRF associates became involved with Synthesis, the online journal of a countercultural forum called the Cercle de la Rose Noire, which seeks a fusion of anarchism, occultism and metapolitics with the contemporary concerns of the ecological and global justice movements. Thus, through the medium of musical subcultures (industrial metal, gothic metal and neo folk music scenes) and the creation of völkisch autonomous village-communities, they hope to disseminate their subversive ideas throughout society in order to achieve cultural hegemony. Southgate's political evolution concluded in 2005 with him becoming co-organizer of the UK-based New Right, a metapolitical forum which seeks to unite the disparate strands of the British right and align it with the broader European New Right.
The National-Anarchist meme has spread around the world over the Internet, assisted by groups such as the Thule-Seminar which set up web sites in the 1990s. In the United States, only a few web sites have been established but there has been a trend towards a steady increase. National-Anarchism in the U.S. remains a relatively obscure movement, made up of probably fewer than 200 individuals, led by Andrew Yeoman of the Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA), based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a couple of other groups in Northern California and Idaho. Organizations based on National-Anarchist ideology have gained a foothold in Russia and sown turmoil in the environmental movement in Germany. There are adherents in England, Spain and Australia, among other nations.
On 8 September 2007 in Sydney, Australia, the anti-globalization movement mobilized against neoliberal economic policies by opposing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. During the street protests, National-Anarchists infiltrated the left-anarchist black bloc but the police had to protect them from being expelled by irate activists. Since then, National-Anarchists have joined other marches in Australia and in the U.S.; in April 2008, they protested on behalf of the Tibetan independence movement against the Chinese government during the Olympic torch relay in both Canberra, Australia, and San Francisco. Now, National-Anarchists in the U.S. are carefully studying the successes and failures of their more prominent international counterparts as they attempt to similarly win converts from the radical environmentalist and white nationalist movements in the U.S..
In 2008, Southgate agreed with Yeoman's proposition that "Tribal Anarchism" is a slightly more accurate description of the goals of the movement. However, the term "National-Anarchism" continues to be the most common way of describing the movement.
On May Day 2010, BANA participated in the Golden Gate Minutemen's march in front of San Francisco City Hall in support of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration senate bill. The march took place during International Workers' Day demonstrations as an attempt to counter mass protest against the bill, in San Francisco's Mission District. Local news media reported that Yeoman, BANA member Parker Wilson, and three other National-Anarchists were physically assaulted by about 10 protesters as they left the march.
The conservative revolutionary concept of the Anarch, as articulated by Jünger, is central to National-Anarchism. National-Anarchists see the artificial hierarchies inherent in the state and capitalism as systematically oppressive and environmentally destructive. They distance themselves from fascism and communism as statist and totalitarian, and reject Nazism as the discredited ideology of a failed dictatorship.
National-Anarchists see modernity, liberalism, materialism, consumerism, immigration, multiracialism, multiculturalism, and globalization as the primary causes of the social decline of nations and cultural identity. They stress a strategic and ideological alliance of racial separatists in the Western world, neo-Eurasianists in Russia, Islamists in the Muslim world, and autonomist and secessionist movements in the least developed countries to denounce an imagined New World Order â "globalization as an instrument of Zionism and American imperialism" â inevitably leading to global economic collapse and ecological collapse.
National-Anarchism echoes most strains of anarchism by expressing a desire to reorganize human relationships, with an emphasis on replacing the hierarchical structures of the state and capitalism with local, community decision-making. National-Anarchists, however, advocate collective action organized along the lines of ethnic and racial identity and tribe, and aim towards a decentralized social order where like-minded individuals build and maintain an autonomous village-community, as an organic unity, which is politically meritocratic, economically self-sufficient, and ecologically sustainable. Southgate has stated:
We believe in political, social and economic decentralisation. In other words, we wish to see a positive downward trend whereby all bureaucratic concepts such as the UN, NATO, the EU, the World Bank and even nation-states like England and Germany are eradicated and consequently replaced by autonomous village-communities."
On certain battleground issues in the "culture wars", Southgate's National-Anarchist views differ drastically from those of left-wing anarchists due to his strong antifeminist, heterosexist and pro-life stance. Appealing to nature, he has stated:
The most important thing for us is the Natural Order. It is natural for men and women to procreate. Anything which threatens the harmony of Nature must be opposed. Feminism is dangerous and unnatural ... because it ignores the complimentary relationship between the sexes and encourages women to rebel against their inherent feminine instincts ... Homosexuality is contrary to the Natural Order because sodomy is quite undeniably an unnatural act. Groups such as Outrage are not campaigning for love between males - which has always existed in a brotherly or fatherly form - but have created a vast cult which has led to a rise in cottaging, male-rape and child sex attacks. Nature is about life and health, not death and AIDS. But we are not trying to stop homosexuals engaging in this kind of activity like the Christian moralists or bigoted denizens of censorship are doing, on the contrary, as long as this behaviour does not affect the forthcoming National-Anarchist communities then we have no interest in what people get up to elsewhere ... As far as abortion is concerned, this process violates the sanctity of life and once again the killing of an unborn child is flying in the face of Nature.
National-Anarchists are ethnopluralists, who oppose multiracialism and miscegenation, but they do not seek to impose their racialist views on others because they reject universalism and embrace particularism. Asserting the right to difference, National-Anarchists publicly advocate a model of society in which communities that practice racial, ethnic, religious or sexual separatism are able to peacefully coexist alongside mixed or integrated communities without requiring force. They claim that "National Autonomous Zones" (NAZ) could exist with their own rules for permanent residence without the strict ethnic divisions and violence advocated by other forms of "blood and soil" ethnic nationalism. They further argue that areas without significant human development and borderlands would be maintained collectively, and that free zones allowing trade and sharing between communities would be established with the agreement of all parties involved. Scholars, however, argue National-Anarchists see the establishment of whites-only NAZs which have seceded from the stateâs economy â no-go areas for unwelcomed ethnic groups and state authorities â as a strategy to foment civil and racial strife in order to provoke a racial civil war and the collapse of the capitalist system.
Many National-Anarchists are influenced by the perennial philosophy of Evola and the radical Traditionalist School, which calls for a "revolt against the modern world". They therefore have a pessimistic vision of Western culture yet optimistically believe that the âdecline of the Westâ will pave the way for its materialism to be expunged and replaced by the idealism of Evolian Tradition. Many National-Anarchists reject Judeo-Christianity as incompatible with National-Anarchism because they argue it is a slave morality that usurped Mithraism as the historically dominant religion of the West. They therefore embrace various forms of neopaganism, occultism and ethnic mysticism as genuine expressions of Western spirituality, culture and identity â which can serve as an antidote to the socially alienating effects of Americanized consumer culture â and hold völk autonomy as the ultimate barrier against the cultural imperialism of globalization.
According to American pan-secessionist Keith Preston, National-Anarchism and classical American ideals are reconcilable, despite the anti-Americanism of European National-Anarchists and the patriotism of American paleoconservatives, because of their common values: regionalism, localism, agrarianism, and traditionalism.
The conservative revolutionary concept of the Anarch provides sanction for the ideological shapeshifting and unrestrained eclecticism of National-Anarchism, allowing its adherents to assert they have transcended the dichotomy of conventional politics to embrace higher political forms that are "beyond left and right". National-Anarchists argue the leftâright political spectrum is obsolete and should be replaced with a centralist-decentralist paradigm in light of the fall of communism and the rise of a neoliberal form of globalization.
While the synthesis of left-wing and right-wing views in syncretic political ideologies makes their classification problematic, scholars who have examined National-Anarchism consider it to be on the radical right.
In 2003, Roger Griffin argued that National-Anarchism is a segment of the groupuscular right which has evolved towards a mazeway resynthesis between classic fascism, Third Positionism, neo-anarchism and new types of anti-systemic politics born of the anti-globalization movement.
In 2005, Alan Sykes argued that National-Anarchism represents a further evolution in the thinking of the radical right rather than an entirely new dimension, a response to the new situation of the late 20th century in which the apparent triumph of materialist capitalism on a global scale requires a greater assertion of the centrality of anti-materialist nationalism.
Graham D. Macklin argued that despite a protean capacity for change far-right groupuscules retain recognizable core fascist values, and therefore concludes that National-Anarchism was originally an anti-modern synthesis of anarchism and fascism, specifically Evolian fascism.
In 2008, Spencer Sunshine argued that National-Anarchism is a new segment of the fascist right, influenced by Third Positionism, Nouvelle Droite, and primitivist green anarchism, whose main ideological innovation is a stateless palingenetic ultranationalism.
National-Anarchism has critics on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Both left- and right-wing critics find it difficult to digest hearing white nationalists promoting Third Positionist, Islamist, communist, and anarchist thinkers.
Left-wing critics assert that National-Anarchism represents what many anti-fascists see as the potential new face of fascism. They argue that it is a form of crypto-fascism which hopes to avoid the stigma of traditional fascism by appropriating symbols, slogans and stances of the left-wing anarchist movement, while engaging in entryism to inject core fascist values into the anti-globalization and environmental movements. They further argue that National-Anarchists hope to draw members away from traditional white nationalist groups to their own synthesis of ideas, which they claim are "neither left nor right". These critics warn that the danger National-Anarchists represent is not in their marginal political strength, but in their potential to show an innovative way that neo-fascist groups can rebrand themselves and reset their project on a new footing. Even if the results are modest, this can disrupt left-wing social movements and their focus on social justice and egalitarianism; and instead spread elitist ideas based on naturalistic fallacy, racism, homophobia, antisemitism and antifeminism amongst grassroots activists.
Southgate defended National-Anarchists by arguing:
Much of what we do has to be covert, because the groups that direct the anti-Capitalist movement are usually controlled by Left-wing dogmatists who believe that we National-Anarchists are trying to subvert Anarchism for our own sinister ends. But this is false. As weâve said elsewhere time and time again, we are not âracistsâ or âsupremacistsâ with some kind of secret agenda, we are seeking our own space in which to live according to our own principles. Sadly, however, most people on the Left want more than that and will not rest until they can organise every minute aspect of peopleâs lives. Itâs a self-perpetuating disease. This is why they talk of the âright to workâ, when â as Bob Black rightly points out â the real problem is work itself. The Left, just like the totalitarian Right, refuses to tolerate anyone who tries to opt out of its vision of an all-inclusive society. Some of us, however, want no part of this and will only be âsocialistsâ among ourselves and with our own kind.
Far-right critics argue that neo-Nazis joining the National-Anarchist movement will lead to their "anti-Zionist" struggle being co-opted by left-wing anarchists. They further argue that National-Anarchists want the militant chic of calling themselves anarchists without the historical and philosophical baggage that accompanies such a claim, such as the link with 19th-century Jewish anarchists.
Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index
Anarchism Critiques –
Class Analysis –
Class Conflict/Class Struggle –
First International –
Left, The –
Left History –
Libertarian Politics –
Libertarian Socialism –
Mark, Karl –
Marxism Overviews –
Radical Political Theory –
Revolutionary Politics –
Social Change –
State, The –
Strategies for Social Change
Alternatives – Anarchism – Anarchism Critiques – Anti-Marxism – Class Analysis – Class Conflict/Class Struggle – Emancipation – First International – Left, The – Left History – Libertarian Politics – Libertarian Socialism – Libertarianism – Mark, Karl – Marxism – Marxism Overviews – Radical Political Theory – Revolution – Revolutionary Politics – Social Change – Socialism – State, The – Strategies for Social Change
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