From “Suits and Boots” to “Suits and Shoots” on the Altright

https://www.splcenter.org/…/class-conflict-dividing-america…

A few observations prompted by this article:

– it’s pretty good but basically accepts the altright’s premises about class on face value, undoubtedly without meaning to. They look at class like liberals do- as a set of cultural markers. There’s little structural difference between the TWP people moaning about how altright psuedo-intellectualism turns off the white working class people the TWP seeks (and fails) to organize, and tumblr liberals tsk tsking about the “classism” of serving quinoa at functions.

If you understand class more substantively, as a structural relationship to production, then the whole argument about the issue within altright circles becomes ludicrous. Neither side are working class, either structurally or “culturally” if that means anything — the TWP leadership is all lifestylist voluntarily downwardly-mobile children of petty bourgeoisie — and few of their supporters are, either. The argument is, as the article does manage to get across, all about optics and narcissism. That narcissism does have a real-world effect in terms of what strategies people pursue with the little power they have, and who will work with whom, but…

– it’ll be interesting to see where the street-fighting element of the altright, the “boots” in the “boots and suits” dichotomy, will go in the wake of all of this. My guess will be some of them will continue on, especially the Proud Boys and similar groups, who can bridge the optics divide somewhat- they brawl, but don’t wear swastikas. But for the most part I think the violence level will bifurcate. Groups like Identity Europa and other “suit” groups will attempt to channel their violence through influencing the political and corporate power structures. On the other end, individuals or loose groups like Atomwaffen will occasionally spin out a gun or bomb attack. Instead of “suits and boots” it could be “suits and shoots.”

What should the left make of this? The relatively clear thing is to continue to expose and disrupt the suits (and what “boots” are still around). Keep them off balance. Make them continually adjust. At present, there’s little we can do about the aleatoric violence of the “shoots.” I have some ideas but they’d take a degree of effort and risk we can’t presently afford, especially given the whole “trying to advance socialism” thing we’re trying to do at the same time.

– Horseshoe theory is bullshit. BUT… I have to say the way these people tear into each other over optics, valuations of long-dead historical figures, situations over which they have no influence (the civil war in Syria, for instance), what they WOULD do had they the people/money/power, organizational strategies they are nowhere near implementing even remotely successfully… kinda familiar. It’s sad.

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From “Suits and Boots” to “Suits and Shoots” on the Altright

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