Moderate Rebels episode 4

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by activist and author Eugene Puryear. We discuss the white supremacist fascist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and the terror attack on anti-racist protesters.

Blumenthal, Norton, and Puryear detail what exactly the alt-right is, how it originates in neo-Confederate politics and the long history of white supremacy in the US, what fuels it, and how it ultimately serves powerful billionaire interests — even while pretending to oppose them. We also debunk neoliberal centrist Democrat talking points about the so-called “alt-left” and horseshoe theory.

Key Quotes

“So much of what Trump has powered himself on was basically taking dog-whistle politics and turning it into a foghorn.”
-Eugene Puryear (3:19)

“It’s nothing new for powerful forces to try to find a way to channel the anger that actually could disrupt them.”
-Eugene Puryear (18:00)

“Neo-Nazism and white supremacy is a global project. In some cases we [the US government] oppose it, and then we have the ‘woke Nazis’ abroad [in Ukraine, the Baltic states, etc.].”
-Max Blumenthal (22:29)

“A huge portion of what Hitler was trying to do, he was looking at the United States and borrowing a lot of ideas from race science and eugenics … America has been one of the number one innovators of racial hatred on the planet, the United States of America.”
-Eugene Puryear (30:46)

“The combination of Nazism, neo-Confederatism, the Christian Identity movement, the KKK, all of these white supremacist ideologies, these far-right militias, has created a kind of unique fascist brew here in the United States that both predates Nazi Germany but also takes from it.”
-Eugene Puryear (33:09)

“These people lost the war, and somehow are still able to celebrate this terrible institution as if they won. There’s more celebration of the Confederacy in America than the Union. It’s an unbelievable state of affairs.”
-Eugene Puryear (39:14)

“In so many ways their [the alt-right] emphasis on a white identity politics benefits elites.”
-Max Blumenthal (54:26)

“The concept of an ‘alt-left,’ that actually is the left wing of the alt-right, which I think doesn’t exist except maybe in terms of an alternative left of people who are highly aestheticized and have tattoos and work for VICE magazine and who advance neoconservative regime change policies in Venezuela, Syria, and elsewhere.”
-Max Blumenthal (54:41)

“It’s one of the most intellectually dishonest exercises I’ve ever seen, this attempt to connect the alt-right to the ‘alt-left,’ the true far left.”
-Eugene Puryear (55:39)

“They [the alt-right] want to end the wars abroad to intensify the war at home.”
-Eugene Puryear (56:59)

Marcus Luttrell “at the Republican National Convention stood up and said ‘your war is here, your war is at home.’ And that was really to me the signal call of what Trump’s administration was going to represent.”
-Max Blumenthal (58:09)

The alt-right “really reflects overall this ideology that sees the contradictions in society as not contradictions between one class and another class — between the capitalists, the rich, the 1 percent, the bourgeoisie, and the working class — but rather between races, between genders. It’s this kind of illusion. So instead of thinking about wars abroad as international imperial wars for empire, for corporate profits, for control of natural resources, you can go on and on, instead it’s about fighting at home for white identity, it’s about fighting to maintain male supremacy and patriarchy.”
-Ben Norton (58:41)

“Not only are they ideologically and politically opposed, but the left and the so-called alt-right — which, again, is just a rebranding of neo-fascism in the 21st century — they have completely different class characters. One is bankrolled by billionaires; one is in opposition to billionaires. They can say all they want that they support taxing the rich, etc., but the alt-right is not a working-class movement.”
-Ben Norton (1:01:17)

“The alt-right is certainly 100 percent for establishing very rigid hierarchies. They have sort of a racial science that also believes that there is something of a biological reality that leaves behind income inequality … So the entire thing is really a defense of privilege, and a defense of hierarchy, and a defense of elitism.”
-Eugene Puryear (1:03:56)

“The alt-right prescriptions aren’t really to break up all of the banks, or this, that, and the third. It’s really to return to their own idealized version of the rise of American capitalism.”
-Eugene Puryear (1:04:31)

Show Notes

Eugene Puryear

By Any Means Necessary with Eugene Puryear on Facebook

By Any Means Necessary with Eugene Puryear on  iTunes

Charlottesville fascist rally

Southern Poverty Law Center, “The people, groups and symbols at Charlottesville,” August 15 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center, “Flags and Other Symbols Used By Far-Right Groups in Charlottesville,” August 12 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center, “Alleged Charlottesville Driver Who Killed One Rallied With Alt-Right Vanguard America Group,” August 12 2017

The “alt-left” smear

Ben Norton, “How Online Trolls Pushing for Regime Change in Syria Helped Popularize Trump’s Abusive Attack on the ‘Alt-Left’,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, August 17 2017

Indivisible and Democratic Party ties

From the Indivisible Guide website:

“The Indivisible Project is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization” with “501(c)(3) status with the Tides Foundation. … Indivisible is a project of the Advocacy Fund.”

Black Awakening in Capitalist America

Robert L. Allen, Black Awakening in Capitalist America: An Analytical History, 1969

The Cultural Cold War

Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, The New Press, 1999

Andrea Chalupa and Ukraine’s Euromaidan

Andrea Chalupa, “Ukraine’s Future Belongs to Its Dreamers,” Huffington Post

Andrea Chalupa, “Andrea Chalupa: Global Maidan – a gathering in NYC for civic activists,” Kyiv Post, October 29 2014

Ukraine and Hillary Clinton

Kenneth P. Vogel, David Stern, “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire: Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton,” Politico, January 11 2017

Andriy Parubiy and Ukrainian fascism

Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal, “John McCain and Paul Ryan Hold ‘Good Meeting’ With Veteran Ukrainian Nazi Demagogue Andriy Parubiy,” AlterNet Grayzone Project, June 23 2017

FBI and Islamophobes

Eli Clifton, “New Documents Reveal FBI’s Islamophobic Counterterrorism Training,” ThinkProgress, September 15 2011

Matt Duss, “FBI Leaking To Neocon Conspiracy-Theorist Frank Gaffney?“, ThinkProgress, August 23 2010

Anti-Muslim bigot Frank Gaffney

Ben Norton, “The 5 craziest things about Ted Cruz’s extremist, neo-McCarthyist, anti-Muslim foreign policy adviser Frank Gaffney,” Salon, March 17 2016

Philip Bump, “Meet Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim gadfly reportedly advising Donald Trump’s transition team,” The Washington Post, November 16 2016

Molly McKew

Kyiv Post bio: ” Molly McKew is a writer and an information warfare expert. From 2009 to 2013 she worked as an adviser to Mikheil Saakashvili, then the president of Georgia.”

The Fascist Creep

Alexander Reid Ross, Against the Fascist Creep, AK Press, 2017

The Road to Wellville and Kellogg’s racism

Roger Ebert review of The Road to Wellville, October 28 1994

John Harvey Kellogg and “Eugenics and the Race Betterment Movement,” Chuck Holmgren, University of Virginia American Studies program

Ransom Riggs, “The Guy Who Invented Corn Flakes Was A Strange, Strange Man,” February 1 2011

Edward Sebesta and Neo-Confederate research

Edward Sebesta on Twitter

Max Blumenthal, “Why Scrapping the Confederate Flag Is a Threat to a Huge Swath of the Right-Wing Movement,” AlterNet, July 6 2015

James W. Loewen, Edward H. Sebesta, The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause”, University Press of Mississippi, 2010

Durham Confederate statue and Workers World Party

Who are the Workers World Party, the group who helped organize the Durham Confederate statue toppling,” ABC11, August 16 2017

Fascist Richard Spencer speech

Alt-right-funding billionaire Robert Mercer

Max Kutner, “Meet Robert Mercer, the Mysterious Billionaire Benefactor of Breitbart,” Newsweek, November 21 2016

Carole Cadwalladr, “Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media: With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network,” The Guardian, February 26 2017

Jane Mayer, “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency,” The New Yorker, March 27 2017

Islamophobia and Park51 community center

Alan Pyke, “Hedge Fund CEO Behind Trump Campaign Makeover Masterminded ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Smear,” ThinkProgress, August 19 2016

Capitalist class character of white supremacist movements

Christopher Petrella, “Well-educated elites are no strangers to white supremacy,” The Washington Post, August 14 2017

Richard Spencer’s enormous family farm

Jen Kirby, “Of Course White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gets Millions in Federal Subsidies for His Family’s Cotton Farm in Louisiana,” New York Magazine, March 17 2017

Richard Spencer runs the National Policy Institute, an anodyne name for a white-supremacist think tank. He is also, according to a new report from Reveal, one of the absentee landlords on his family’s 5,200-acre cotton and corn farm in a poor, rural area of Louisiana. That farm is also heavily supported by the United States government; between 2008 and 2015, the operation received $2 million in federal farm subsidies.

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 4