By Gus Breslauer
It's 2017, and white supremacy is baring its teeth. Its most overt form has America in uproar. However, we are not in agreement on what to do about this or think about it, and generally why and how this happened.
What's the current state of whiteness though? I'm talking about the relationship that's more between white people and particularly the white working class, rather than white supremacy, which we've understood as white people oppressing black people and what we would understand as the racial social order all Americans live under. There's a lot more gray to it, like there is to white supremacy, but we're begged to ask again and again, why does the white worker side with the ruling class generally, or even worse "blood and soil", rather than defend the black worker?
Amiri Barksdale provides the best summary of whiteness framed in 2017 in "Whiteness Again":
"Without getting too psychological, I want to emphasize what I think is the most important aspect of whiteness today, given the fact that the positive material benefits have been declining. I guess it has to be called a privilege, but it is hard to make the case ultimately. The plight of white workers is just the same as that of the working class in general: dire. Consider that the decline in material benefits is not only evident in job prospects and economic security for “unskilled” workers, but also the wealth lost by white families in the two bubbles and the generally out of control indebtedness of workers. That’s the New Deal heritage out the window, and that’s the last positive piece of “White Man’s Democracy,” given that capital is reaching deeper into workers’ lives and pockets than ever before. Now that I have said that, here’s this last so-called privilege, a deadly poison: it is the sine qua non of whiteness, and it is the annihilation of solidarity: this is the privilege not to know and therefore not to care." Amiri Barksdale, 2017 
Barksdale beautifully elaborates, for the skeptical, the essay is highly recommended and there does not exist a comparable evaluation that is current. It should be understood that this current fragility is totally not beyond redemption and reconciliation, this is one of whiteness's main characteristics, it has to be routinely renewed and recuperated throughout history, as if it were America's biggest unspoken contract. However, it should also be understood that this is concurrent with restructurings rather than declines in white supremacy; deportations, mass incarceration, police brutality and so much more have withstood a great deal of direct opposition. The main understanding of whiteness has become more and more so a "non-experience", white workers (sometimes narrowly) dodge the most head-on attacks the class faces today.
The cracks producing this fragility have been also been made deeper and wider by leftists in very small but very meaningful ways, like Redneck Revolt's role in splintering militia movements  such as the Oathkeepers and 3%ers, in a way that strains what appears to be an already tense relationship with the alt-right. In Houston, we saw known local Alt-Rightist William Fears get choked out of a protest for “being too racist”. It seems they have a long way to their dreams of dropping the communists out of helicopters. We're not saying that the two scenarios have much to do with each other, but both express a potentiality. Can we frame tension against the current state of whiteness?
Meanwhile, liberal democracy has spent the last week soaking up the piss and vinegar in average Americans over the events in Charlottesville. This is nothing new, and the hardest thing about fighting fascism is building and maintaining the class forces actually capable of doing this, and defending these against liberal recuperation. We should be inclined to agree with Ross Wolfe  that we cannot "extrapolate an entire political perspective from opposition to fascism”. We've seen, as others have said, numerous examples in history at the eve of revolution, such as the Spanish Civil War, where we have joined fronts in the name of fighting fascism, which only led the class to the fascist slaughterhouse instead of a more human society that we envision. This has come with some valid critiques of where anti-fascism has taken us. 
However, we are in a bit of a paradox here, and I do not think it is Karl Popper's , nor one that we cannot break out of. Communists are the only ones who can make fascism impossible, we are the best equipped to effectively fight it if it continues to grow, we are the ones who can confidently say we not only want to destroy fascism, but all which makes it possible. The following quote from Trotsky in 1934 that has been circulating a great deal, speaks a lot of truth to the Charlottesville moment:
"It would be the worst stupidity to hope that a democratic government, even headed by the social-democracy, could save the workers from fascism by a decree prohibiting the fascists to organize, to arm, etc. No police measures will help if the workers themselves will not learn to deal with fascists."
--Trotsky, 1934 
We wish this was as easily done as said here, as we should agree with Trotsky here. The terrain of class struggle and getting workers to learn to deal with fascists is not a paved road in America. Where again, does whiteness and treason come in here? Is there room for that here, or are we stuck in liberalism's ham-fisted “coming together”?
It should be noted that “traditional” modern anti-fascism, epitomized as "Antifa", is really not what was seen in Charlottesville. Militants seeing this as your typical “Antifa” are missing a big part of what is a break with the “mode” of anti-fascism. Any photo montage of counter-protesters in Charlottesville will reveal a large lack of masks. What good are masks when we are seeking to build a broader class movement? This is a step in the right direction, while masks shouldn't be sent to the dustbins of history just yet, they put dangerously more space between us and the class in the “spaces between”. We should show that are fearless and willing to stand openly, but also that we are people worth trusting.
It seems more apparent though that the hard-line communist critique of anti-fascism is somewhat broken, if we are to leave uncertainty to its business. This is not how I understand revolutionaries to relate to critique, at least not when these questions are raised in the current historical context. Critique is an activity that should be implemented, as a participatory practice. This author was not present in Charlottesville, but would have been, and there is a not a good reason for a prescribed or principled abstention here. There are no decisive fronts for us to avoid or question joining. The liberals will try to absorb what they might, but what harbingers of class struggle (and opponents of fascism) are we if are not able to cast them down as farce?
We should be present and provide clarity, we should make it clear that fighting the fascists head on is very limited, but this isn't irreconcilable with making genuine efforts to fight alongside today's anti-fascists. Critiques must be raised in the course of struggle or they are meaningless. These can be informed and translated from our historical positions, no doubt, but there is no clean or exact replication of these. Instead, we can bring knowledge to locating these questions within the self-activity of the class, rather than a paternalistic view that we must protect their activity from the question. Lastly, the social movements we participate in are routinely contradictory, ridden with failure and defeat. Class struggle is expressed in a great deal of impure ways, anti-fascism isn't class struggle either, but there's absolutely nothing that exist that seems to preclude a relationship.
Noam Chomsky calls modern Antifa a "gift to the alt-right", and surely this is considerable, but “gift” is a certain hyperbole. We really do not have "control" over what the alt-right does, and what they receive as a gift, and shouldn't seek to. Our best practices will not come out of what we defend from the fascists, but what we are able to give the class.
The community self-defense strategy is probably the best thing being advanced currently by American communists, looking back to Robert F. Williams and his struggles against the Klan in Monroe, NC and today with formations like the IWW borne General Defense Committees, Redneck Revolt, and a great deal of other groups who find it extremely necessary to consolidate the most militant forces and energy mobilized against fascism and use them to bring the whole system down. Easier said than done, and we are still learning.
Supporting groups that are intervening with a counter-recruitment strategy is crucial, as fascism exploits what are already our failed interventions. We should actively recruit those who would otherwise join with fascists and offer to them treason, Redneck Revolt and John Brown Gun Clubs (to clarify, virtually the same organization) is the best current formation seen doing this. Redneck Revolt is even a multi-racial organization, something large sections of reactionary threat (militia groups, Proud Boys) also seem to be. We should work to build all different kinds of vehicles of treason, and celebrate a history and legacy of treason.
The questions I'm trying to bring together here involve things that aren't being brought into relationship to each other in the conversations I am seeing: 1.) a confused whiteness in crisis in America and the current state of “the deal”, which Amiri Barksdale describes as “a protection racket that used to provide material bonuses”; 2.) a fascism that is phenomenon in a way, looking more "traditional" in the European sense, meanwhile "alternative" and modernist, without losing the character American reactionaries; 3.) and last but certainly not least, America's full blown white supremacy, the most grotesque attacks on the vulnerable sections of the class, deportations, mass incarceration and a racist police state, which seems the least unlikely of going anywhere.
The sum of these things brings us to an utmost urgency, when contextualized, we can seen racist America is starting to shake up, shift and shake. There are a myriad of opportunities for treason to whiteness and the advancement of a conscious and generalized class struggle. Noel Ignatiev gave some points of discussion in 2014 to the Unity and Struggle Ferguson symposium, which although it does not address fascism, however its destabilizing feature is what we want to put into context here:
“The system of racial oppression did not arise out of a bourgeois plot but out of specific historic circumstances; once it developed it became part of the U.S. social formation. Only value production is essential to capital; racial oppression is contingent, although under some circumstances it may become so vital to bourgeois hegemony that its fall would decisively weaken the entire system.” Noel Ignatiev, 2014 
How much longer is liberal democracy going to be able to expel fascism with one hand and retain white supremacy with the other?
2.) The best example of this so far best demonstrated by this facebook post, but it really doesn't reflect how instrumental the organization was and has been in many circumstances, to chip off pieces from the block, wherever they may fall:https://www.facebook.com/RedneckRevolt/posts/611906929197946
4.) This view is typically proliferated by left communists and ultra-leftists, they have valid points which raise important questions:
5,) “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”Karl Popper, Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 1, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4
Gus is a gay space communist from Houston, TX, and a member of Redneck Revolt.
We are excited to announce our new study, with help from our friends at the Communist Research Cluster, "Revolutionary Feminism". The study is centered around a reader produced by CRC, now on its second edition. The reader contains excerpts and essays from a vast array of feminists throughout history. To view the reader in a PDF format, click here. We have also added three texts from contemporaries (written in the past 5 years) in hopes of weaving the history from this study to the thoughts about the present moment. The use of this reader will help us with an introduction to this very important history, while not being exhaustive, it will hopefully give a comprehensive background with which to make sense of the situations ahead. Our hope is not just to gain new insights to the historical oppression of women and resistance to patriarchy, but rather the centrality of women to revolutionary struggle for human emancipation as a whole.
At the present, our gathering time and location will remain the same, Fridays, at 7pm, at the Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. Houston, TX 70006, Room 328 on the Third Floor. This may be subject to change and I would follow our blog for any updates. We would still prefer you contact us and let us know you're coming. Please also do so if you have any questions. This study begins June 24th, 2016.
As usual, we have a few open "bad weather" days, which may get used, but will be occupied by texts decided through the course of the study if they are not used. Here you will find the syllabus and a map to where we are gathering.
An update, and announcing our Second Quarter Study Project, "Pessimism, Nihilism and other negations"
The Q1 study has been delightful thus far, with many high-points and fun moments. We will be continuing our Q2 study in largely the same way, with little change in page weight, time, location, etc. Please contact us if you are interested.
The next study has a very loose theme binding together some perspectives, particularly "negative" ones, that we wanted to explore. These ideas are not so much ideas we endorse, as they are ideas we find interesting. Please see the study to find more. We hope to see everyone "in the void".
Also, this blog may or may not come to serve as an outlet for participants in the study to publish their thoughts and findings in conjunction with the study, or beyond. We have also discussed doing some events. More to come soon.
Thank you for all of the interest thus far. Those of you who expressed this should already be in receipt of this information by now. This is the public announcement for anyone who might not have yet, for lack of logistical information.
The Study Project will be commencing Fridays, at 7pm, at the Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. Houston, TX 70006, Room 328 on the Third Floor. This begins January 8th, 2016. The Study Project page has been altered to reflect this.
If you are interested, we may decide to "cap" this at some point, so I would contact us to let us know you're coming and any questions you may have.
We are embarking on something we hope will be special here. The Guy Debord Club of Houston is a young grouping of Houston fighters and thinkers seeking to learn and grow by way of new dreams and new adventures.
For more information, see our about page, look at our current study, and contact us with any questions.
“To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both -- a philosopher.”