Today is the 28th anniversary of the end of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX and also the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing done in retaliation to Waco. It is also the 246th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and that was part of what gave us the United States – and the fascism that fuels it – in the first place. In this two-part series, we discuss how it does.
By Reverend Aaron
Part One: Reagan/Bush and the Transition to Clinton
Amerikkka is and always has been, structurally speaking, a Fascist enterprise. From the first moment that rich, Euro-Protestant, land-owning males put the defense of those interests to paper and constructed a “Constitution”, they inscribed therein the terminology necessary to facilitate not only the disgusting divisions conjured out of otherwise arbitrary racial constructs, they did so for the sole purpose of, as I said, the defense of their own interests. That is, among one of its arguably earliest inceptions, what Fascism is. A form of defense of the interests of the Capitalist ruling class.
In order to create the economic conditions necessary to ensure that this new defense of their interests would survive absent the wealth and protective mechanisms of the British crown, they employed those arbitrary racial divisions as justification for the ownership, and thereby the labor of, other human beings. And in doing so insured that the economic interests of those Euro-Protestant Amerikkkan men would not only be protected but made to flourish.
This economy, foundationally built off of the violently stolen and brutally enforced labor of human beings, is what made possible the fantastic wealth that then facilitated the Amerikkkan Industrial era. Which then, of course, gave rise to what we now see manifested all over the globe. That is to say, Western Imperialist Capitalism.
If we maintain at the fore of our understanding that it is indeed this project of defense that motivates literally each and every new regime to take the reins of Amerikkkan power, we will better understand the often violent, sometimes seemingly conflicted, methodology employed by each new, incoming regime. That is to say that no matter how the billionaire funded bourgeois media may portray the supposed divisions and ideological differences between each new administration, they willfully never bring to our attention the fact that each new regime’s fundamental core purpose for existing is the maintenance of that very same wealthy Euro-Protestant Hetero-Patriarchal Capitalist status quo that was fundamentally facilitated by viciously stealing the lives and labor of other human beings.
The Racist Demagoguing of the Reagan Era
Ronald Reagan, the actor and California ex-governor known for being deeply Anti-Communist ala the John Birch Society. The JBS, best known for the fomentation of deeply racist conspiracy theories such as the one that asserted that the Civil Rights movement was not an organic response to the violent oppression of black people, rather it was some nefarious plot by “outside agitating communists” to manipulate otherwise peaceful black people into rising up against some “imaginary” injustice.
On numerous occasions, according to Rick Perlstein and Edward H. Miller, Reagan directly quoted the fear mongering lie of Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society:
There was also the moment when he quoted to a group of college students visiting the White House Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s “eloquent statement” of his plan to conquer America: that he would first take Eastern Europe, then “organize the hordes of Asia,” then “move into Latin America”; then “we will not have to take the last bastion of capitalism, the United States. It will fall into our outstretched hand like overripe fruit.” Except that Lenin never said it. But Robert Welch claimed he did, in The Blue Book of the John Birch Society, the ur-text of his movement.
Ronald Reagan, the demagoguing governor responsible for Amerikkka’s first ever form of significant gun control legislation in response to armed Black Panthers bringing their very righteous and verifiable grievances to the state Capital in Sacramento, California.
Ronald Reagan, the man responsible for single-handed proliferation of the rampant and disgusting demagoguery of the so-called “Welfare Queen” – the term used to demonize single black working poor mothers in desperate need of assistance and relief from the daily oppression they are forced to endure under Amerikkkan Imperialism – as the scapegoat for so much white middle-class financial instability.
Ronald Reagan, who on August 3rd, 1980 began his campaign for president by giving a speech on, of all things, “state’s rights” (wherein he reiterated that foul trope about the dangers of the so-called “Welfare Queen”), in, of all places, Philadelphia, Mississippi.
That speech, in that town, is one of the most glaringly overt examples of how crucial defending the White Supremacist Imperialist Capitalist status quo is to essentially any would be seeker of Amerikkkan power. And Reagan was clearly the right man to deliver it.
Why is that speech, in that town, so significant to the maintenance of a White Supremacist status quo? Well, for starters, “state’s rights” is one of the oldest Amerikkkan White Supremacist dog-whistles there is. Stretching all the way back to its use as proxy by the racist, treasonous, terrorist scum of the Confederacy for the supposed “state right” of owning black human beings. A diversionary justification for their racist, murderous, losing campaign of treason – the US civil war.
Secondly, for Reagan to invoke that clear dog-whistle nod to a murderous campaign in defense of the enslavement of other human beings in… Philadelphia MS, provides for us one of the clearest examples of the gross fluidity of WS as a core Amerikkkan principle, especially in any bid for power. The only thing that Philadelphia, Mississippi has ever contributed to any stage of national awareness is when three civil rights activists, one black and two white, were murdered there by a coalition of Klan members and local law enforcement. A Kops and Klan hand-in-hand act of murder and terror that made national headlines at the time, and ultimately spawned the well-known Hollywood film “Mississippi Burning”.
Ronald Reagan set the tone of his two-term grift by making it abundantly clear, not only to heartland Amerikkka, but to the Capitalist ruling class, that the preservation and perpetuation of the systemic WS status quo would remain paramount under his administration. Reagan said to the world, in so many words, “Remember when the Klan, with the indispensable assistance of local law enforcement, brutally murdered three innocent young people? Because racism? Yeah, that’s totally my jam, and I will do anything to ensure that the kind of people that committed that racist murder, and the ruling class that constructed the stochastic terrorist notions that motivated them, will be represented up front throughout the entirety of my administration”. This country elected him twice in landslide victories.
The Demagogue’s Slobbering Nazi Street Dogs
When an icon of Amerikkkan tradition – one blasted on both the small and large screens as the quintessential “good American” enough times to solidify himself as much in the minds of the mass – comes out and makes such bold declarations in defense of the legacy and tradition of racist murder and terror, should it be any wonder that the masses who love such things would then feel emboldened? No, no it shouldn’t. Under Reagan/Bush DC stewardship, Amerikkka saw a massive uptick in the organization and proliferation of violent, proud and outspoken neo-Nazi groups and organizations terrorizing marginalized and oppressed minorities of people while committing multiple acts of bigotry induced murder all over the country:
Fantastic headlines focused on the overt purposeful violence committed by an alarming number of Neo Nazi Bonehead individuals and groups, at first, frighteningly, piqued the interest and fascination of the Amerikkkan mass.
Many will remember that in the 80s and early 90’s we weren’t imbibing the as of yet unconceived Podcastaverse. No, we were enthralled with and perpetually glued to… the afternoon talk show! One hour respectively with Geraldo Rivera, Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey, Montel Williams and host of other pretenders to the afternoon ratings throne. And every-one of them was keen to capitalize on featuring those responsible for the salacious and bloody headlines emanating from the actions of this new Fascist street thuggery so emboldened by that demagoguing actor in Washington.
This intense spotlight of national scrutiny, while at first embraced by the Neo Fascist community for its clear potential to facilitate further recruitment to their death cult of hate and fear, in fact came with other consequences also attached.
Being featured repeatedly on national platforms by hosts utterly ill-prepared for the confidently asserted taboos of hate did, unsurprisingly, cause Neo Nazi group numbers to swell. Not only were these TV personalities visibly shocked and taken off guard by the audacity, and the often live-on-stage violence of these Nazis (er, ratings-guarantees), they were also unfortunately equally ill-equipped to dismantle the well-constructed talking points being espoused by these proud racist terrorists on these national platforms. Some of those hosts later expressed regret at having platformed these groups for ratings, acknowledging that while they had hoped to “expose” the toxicity of their guests’ beliefs, some retroactively recognized that they had inadvertently empowered their ability to reach vulnerable recruits.
That all said, once the TV show brawls were over, once the instances of real time murders and raw violence began to undeniably stack up around the nation, and once the national mass had a moment to step back and assess all this activity beyond all the attention-grabbing headlines, they, for the most part, turned on the street level Neo Nazis.
While this country was comfy gettin’ all cozied up to the snuggly-wuggly dogwhistles of Reagan’s perpetuation of racist terrorism and murder, it seems they weren’t as comfortable with a movement that brazenly said (and then more often than not went and did), the brutal and bloody quiet parts out loud.
Bonehead Fascination Declines – Desperate Nazis Seek the Strangest of Alliances
Before we can move onto the transition into the next defense of the WS Imperialist Capitalist status quo (the Clinton era), we should briefly examine: 1) The unique international relationships inherent to both the street level as well as governmental level components of Western WSIC. And, 2) The role of the tragically under-told (yet often successful) community level opposition to fascist street thug organizing and violence.
A brief examination of these relationships should also give us some insight into how fascists cope with a decline in popularity after enjoying rare bursts of extreme national and international attention.
Maggy Tells the Gipper to Hold Her Beer
Indeed, Reagan did have his British counter-part. Equally bourgeois, equally faux populace, equally anti-communist, and equally dismissive of the most obvious of sufferings of the poorest amongst her constituency, there was Margaret Thatcher. Not so dissimilar to the bursts of bile inherent to the US Labor Left’s utterances of the name “Reagan”, British working-class Punks and Skins on Thatcher’s dole would annunciate the name of “Margaret! Fucking! Thatcher!” with equally angered ferocity. Her uniquely British version of what Reagan did so well here at home, also helped facilitate the rise of equally hate-filled and dangerous factions of fascist street scum in the UK.
But, in Britain just as in Amerikkka, looking back now from our 21st century social and mainstream media informed lens, we seem to have collectively deduced that in the end… somehow… all these fascist street thugs, all around the western world, just got bored, gave up, put away all their Nazi tattoos and went quietly into that good and forgotten night.
I won’t indulge the depths of it here, but suffice it to say that the bourgeois media cameras weren’t pointed at all the many, nay the countless occasions upon which often well-organized mobs of fascist street thugs were met with far better organized antifascist opposition ready and well-capable of fending off any and all violent attacks that fash have historically had access to from among their limited intellectual and tactical arsenal.
They didn’t “just go away”, fam. They got beat the fuck back, and too often at the literal expense of righteous antifascist lives willing to put themselves on the front lines of that far too often ignored reality.
It is the literal job of Antifascists to apply constant pressure on, with any time-tested tactic at their disposal in order to hinder as much as possible, any fascist groups’ attempts to organize and/or take to the public streets. This happened. In Amerikkka and in Europe.
Those stories are far too complex and many for this examination, but with that said, and while a decrease in primetime media coverage may have also further hampered the street fash’s ability to remain a sustainable project, it was without question under-celebrated members of your communities that made the sacrifices necessary to make sure that Fascists decreased in popularity so much so that they could even give the appearance of having “just went away”.
While they were on the backstep, most especially here at home in Amerikkka by the end of the Reagan/Bush era, and while definitely having dwindled to skeletal membership numbers, violent terrorist fascism most assuredly did not go away. In fact, it got more paranoid, desperate, and, one could even argue, more organized. Akin to a trapped and wounded wild animal, only now (as we will see in the Clinton. Era) with some organizational experience as well as the analytical ability that comes with having brushed up against being backed by real power.
In hindsight it seems a matter of logical due-coarse that street level fash, in the wake of such defeats and significant drops in affiliated numbers, would then seek to both repackage their image as well as seek new alliances that could put them back on the path to building new membership.
In Britain, as we will later see in Amerikkka at the end of the Trump administration (see Part Three), they will even go so far as to seek alliances with their historic enemies or even those that have historically comprised the focus of all their bigoted hate and fear. They may seek alliances with, say, historically pro-Jewish, or, in the case of the National Front, seek alliances with and begin platforming the ideas of so-called Black Nationalist figures such as Louis Farrakhan.
“That Time the National Front Tried to Pull a Jimmy Dore”
These tactics should be seen as exactly what they are: disingenuous efforts intended to exploit notions of evolved solidarity for the purpose of winning over unsuspecting recruits to the very same, age-old, destructive and treacherous machinations and motives that have driven their ilk all along.
Thankfully, these attempts at pseudo-solidarity rarely if ever have any staying power. And, historically speaking, when the street level fash are engaged in these types of last-ditch-effort preoccupations it means that their brief but broad populace support is waning. This decrease in public interest clearly makes them far less useful to the same WSIC power structure that was once so keen to empower and exploit them. But, being seemingly less useful to WS power doesn’t always mean being left behind by it. Sometimes it becomes more beneficial to target its creation than it does to embrace it.
Nazi Militia Meets ATF – The Clinton Era
Nothing better exemplifies the way with which the Amerikkkan mechanisms of power will shift their focus of violent and oppressive attention even on to those who had once been their allies, than the way with which a number of seemingly organic and unrelated events unfolded very early on in the Clinton administration, and the way with which that regime responded to them – two, in particular.
The first is what has generally come to be known as the “stand-off at Ruby Ridge”. But that stand-off was only the final focal point of a much larger story. One that entails Nazi compounds; anti-government separatists; deeply unethical activities from government officials and law enforcement including but not limited to murder; and, one of the finest examples of the violent terrorist constructs of the WS Capitalist status quo viciously attacking elements of itself in such a way that will only serve – whether intended or unintended – to further radicalize those elements it targets.
So, the story goes, Randy Weaver, a racist asshole that also happened to hate the government, grabbed up his wife and kids and moved to a small house on the top of a mountain in Idaho, far from civilization, the government, and any of those minorities he felt naturally superior to.
To the apparent welcomed yet equally coincidental convenience of the Weavers, their nearest “neighbor” down the mountain was the compound HQ of Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations, one of the most well organized and network connected bodies within the Neo Nazi community of the time. A home to murderous, terrorist Neo Nazis just leaving prison for sentences stemming from the same; a fountain for locally and nationally distributed Neo Nazi pamphlets, leaflets and propaganda; a bastion of fascist terrorist training and organizing; the Aryan Nations compound was the sort of WS mecca for any would-be-serious Neo-Nazi bonehead or white nationalist terrorist.
As it turned out, the Weavers found Aryan Nations conferences, concerts, picnics and gatherings… ya know, fun! Chill even – their kinda thing, if you will. Or, at the very least, conducive to sharing the occasional hot dog, beer and a monstrously ill-informed and paranoid discussion about imaginary “Zionist Occupied Governments” (ZOG) and the ever drawing closer, equally imaginary “coming race war”.
Weaver becoming so cozy with one of the most dangerous manifestations of terrorist fascist organizing in modern Amerikkkan history, The Aryan Nations, later proved to leave him vulnerable to the power structure that was then poised to perform a modern-day “Night of the Long Knives” upon its once useful, loosely-connected band of street level stochastic terrorist bigots.
Many may recall that Ernst Rohm was assassinated by the very same powers that he had facilitated the rise of. The head of Nazi Germany’s SA Brown Shirts – essentially the street level German equivalent of the modern Amerikkkan Proud/Boogaloo Bois – Rohm had not only worn out his usefulness to the Nazi Party, but his influence over and even popularity with the German people (and quite possibly his homosexuality) had become an actual threat to, however seemingly small, Hitler’s supreme power. In keeping with the defense of the Fascist Imperialist status quo at all costs, Rohm was assassinated by SS officers, as were other leading Nazis that represented a similar threat. “The Night of the Long Knives” is what history has come to call it. And, history was about to repeat, this time Amerikkkan style.
Weaver’s association with the Aryan Nations made him a prime pawn in the Amerikkkan federal government’s targeting, and further radicalization of, its own homegrown brand of dangerous fash thuggery.
In a series of arms deals with undercover Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents, Weaver was pressured by those agents into illegally modifying a weapon and then selling it to them. When Weaver complied, they threatened to charge him with as much as leverage in an attempt to convince him to roll over on his good friends down at the Aryan Nations compound. He refused, so the ATF brought those federal charges against him. A deadly stand-off between the ATF and the Weaver family ensued. After a lengthy, nationally televised ordeal, in which his wife and child were murdered by the Pigs, Weaver ultimately relented and surrendered.
This stand-off deeply galvanized the far-right militant and racist elements in Amerikkka, and endeared the same to many of the less informed middle-class suburbanites at home watching it all unfold nightly on the national news.
This is when the trend of “preppers” begins in earnest; at this time militias form with a new vigor for “anti-fed” sentiments; talk of the “coming race war” and a fantasy laden obsession with some supposed “war against the ZOG” becomes common place in these circles; new talk of “they are coming for our guns”, and a deep emphasis on paranoid framings of the supposed importance of the 2nd amendment to the US Konstitution find much of their dangerous rhetorical genesis in this moment.
And, as though purposefully queued-up and scheduled to follow directly on the heals of Ruby Ridge, comes the ATF stand-off with the Branch Davidians in Mount Carmel, Texas – much to the same radically dangerous effect that the ordeal with the Weavers had created. In fact, it even served as a sort of pseudo-validation for the burgeoning conspiracy theories about “designs to disarm Americans” in order to install some nefarious “secret oppressive cabal” in Washington so rampant in the minds of far-right militants and Neo Nazis.
David Koresh and his followers, known as the Branch Davidians, lived communally in a massive compound, and were basically just a cult that worshipped Koresh, and allowed him, reportedly, to engage in all kinds of inappropriate activities and relationships with female minors in his flock. None of this mattered at all to the Amerikkkan authorities. What apparently did matter to them was the fact that the Davidians had amassed a massive arsenal of weapons and Koresh preached anti-government sentiments and a message of coming conflict between the two.
Amerikkka apparently decided to fulfil Koresh’s otherwise delusional prophesies. After a long stand-off with the Davidians over supposed weapons violations, the ATF, under the direction of Clinton appointee Madeline Albright, sent in tanks, opened fire unprovoked on the Davidians, and then burned alive all the men, women and children in the compound.
While the Davidians had no connections whatsoever either physically or even ideologically with folks like the Weavers or the Aryan Nations (aside from some level of paranoid distrust of the Amerikkkan power structure), they were nonetheless made into the representation of anything and everything “that threatens the safety of the American people” in the same manner with which the Weavers had been targeted. And so were made a similar example of, but clearly in a far more brutal and horrifying way.
That example, that message to the average person living in Amerikkka was: Fuck with Amerikkka’s absolute and unfettered control over anyone and everyone within its borders, and Amerikkka will mass murder you then paint itself as some messiah entity delivering what’s left of us from the victims of its scapegoating.
I can only speculate that the intended goal of all this targeted scapegoating, violence and murder of the Weavers and the Davidians was done for the specific purpose of eliciting the exact response that it did in fact engender. Regardless of intent, people all over this country did become deeply radicalized anti-Federal government extremists and terrorists.
The first and arguably most shocking manifestation of the ramifications of this new found fervor for anti-government extremism was an ex-veteran piece of human trash that had been watching what unfolded in Ohio and Texas; that had been reading disgusting tomes of terrorist racist violence like the Turner Diaries; that had been traveling around the country to gunshows, hobnobbing with the filthiest of bigoted characters and anti-government extremists; who then went and built a massive bomb and detonated it at the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, OK murdering numerous men, women and children in the process.
That piece of shit, who shall remain nameless herein, is a martyr and a hero to many on the Right to this very day.
“Nazi Militia Meets ATF | A Peoples History of Amerikkka”
This type of rampant and volatile bigoted anti-government extremism, despite its inherent propensity for carnage, can be, it turns out, incredibly useful to the Capitalist Imperialist bosses that run Amerikkka – in two ways.
Consider the notion of “anti-politics”, which websters describes as “reaction against or rejection of the practices or attitudes associated with traditional politics”. Now consider the Anti-Politics motivational notions of the Far Right as being less a comprehensive grassroots response to the political status quo and more a sort of top-down astro-turf façade of what Chomsky calls “manufactured consent”.
The training at the root of these astro-turf anti-politics sentiments is to instill the notion that “if we just get better politicians than the ones we currently hate and irrationally blame for most of the things we’ve been trained to fear and believe are our (otherwise imaginary) personal grievances, everything will be fine.” Of course, in reality, there is no ZOG, and there is no concerted effort to disarm Americans that any new politician could then be tasked to somehow undo. Regardless, adherents of this form of persuasion, and the ticking volatility they represent, are clearly useful to the far-right mechanisms of bourgeois power when, say, they are directed toward their Liberal competitors in Washington. But they can be equally useful, and arguably far more deadly, when redirected onto the more vulnerable, even powerless, individual members of society. Those same marginalized and oppressed, poor and struggling people that Amerikkkan power has historically functioned so well by way of brutally exploiting.
This phenomenon of redirected stochastic terrorist fervor from its focus on the government back to focus onto the people is clearly exemplified by the transition into, and more significantly in the wake of, the George W. Bush administration.
To be continued.