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Zeskind on the History & Threat of the Revolutionary Right

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Centrists and media pundits have long presented the white nationalist movement as simply the home of backwards and “uneducated” people, while in reality, there is a long, and at times, revolutionary history to the movement that deserves serious analysis and reflection. In this episode, we speak with Leonard Zeskind, a historian, speaker, organizer, and author of the long heralded book, Blood and Politics: White Nationalism From the Margins to the Mainstream.

In this podcast, we talk with Leonard about the history of white nationalism, and what made it grow from small sets of cadres into a mass, insurrectionary movement that also helped birth the modern militias. We discuss how in the 1980s and 1990s, the white nationalist movement operated out of a variety of Christian Identity camps and bible study retreats, radio stations, and organized heavily armed homesteads that ran paramilitary training centers, while also rubbing elbows at times with the Christian Right and the Republican Party.

Within our own movement, we give a lot of lip service to the ideas of ‘living and fighting’ and building dual power, but in this period, neo-Nazis and white supremacists were putting a reactionary and white supremacist version of these ethics into practice. Meanwhile, the corpses piled up and the bombs began to explode, as groups like The Order began to take action in the early 1980s, eager to set in motion the plot to books like The Turner Diaries. 

At a time when the murders of Atomwaffen Division and swastikas etched into the clips of school shooters grab headlines, it is important that we look at both the history and the ideas which have shaped these movements. We must also come to understand that without a material autonomous force that can build relationships and better the lives of poor and working class people while pushing towards a revolutionary horizon, the possibilities for the growth of a violent and revolutionary Right, will only continue to grow.

More Info: IREHR.org, Leonard Zeskind homepage, and Blood and Politics.