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The Anti-American Right: An Introduction By: Myles Kantor
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, February 20, 2002


"I DON’T THINK IT WAS ABHORRENT. I think it was a tactical error."

This was William Pierce’s assessment of the mass murder Timothy McVeigh perpetrated at Oklahoma City. Pierce heads the National Alliance, which aspires to white supremacist lebensraum: "We must have no non-Whites in our living space, and we must have open space around us for expansion. We will do whatever is necessary to achieve this White living space and to keep it White."

Conservatives appropriately highlight the Fifth Column Left that sought to Bolsheivize America during the 20th century and maintains its Marxist-Leninist vision. Indeed, anti-Americans on the Left have often been candid about their tyrannical ambitions. Weather Underground member Susan Stern boasted, "We were the Americong."

The Left, however, has no monopoly on native subversion. Anti-Americanism and Fifth Columnism on the Right have an extensive modern pedigree. To give a partial enumeration: pro-Mussolini cadres during the 1920s, Fritz Kuhn’s pro-Nazi Bund, William Dudley’s Silver Shirts, Father James Coughlin’s Christian Front, Gerald L.K. Smith, George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party, Lyndon LaRouche, the National States’ Rights Party, and Islamist organizations in America such as al Fuqra.

I. Defining Terms

Definitions of fifth column include "a group within a country at war who are sympathetic to or working for its enemies" and "a group of secret supporters of a nation’s enemy that engage in espionage or sabotage within the country." My discussion of the Fifth Column/anti-American Right will chiefly apply the first definition; clandestine promotion of anti-Americanism will not be essential to a group’s being part of the Fifth Column/Anti-American Right.

II. The Anti-American Right as a Fundamentally Leftist Menace

Fifth columnists/anti-Americans on the Right are surrogates for those abroad who seek to annihilate individual freedom, consensual government, and property rights—generally speaking, the values articulated in the Declaration of Independence. In their place, these fifth columnists would impose varying forms of collectivism, e.g., theocracy, racial/ethnic subjugation, and a statist economy. (Leftist fifth columnists would substitute theocracy with coercive atheism and racial caste with coercive association. Right and Left fifth columnists share common ground in imposing planned economies.)

Since the Fifth Column Right would subjugate the individual and precious social institutions to an omnipotent state with a quasi-religious dogma, it is fundamentally leftist and shares the totalitarian-chiliastic underpinnings of Marxism-Leninism. The Anti-American Right could be described as leftism with a racist face.

The rhetoric of the Anti-American Right betrays its leftist roots. "I was born to be a revolutionary," declared George Lincoln Rockwell. Neo-nazi leader Gary "Gerhard" Lauck anticipates, "When the revolution comes, we will be triumphant."

III. Fifth Columnism in a Moral Context

Pro-Allied Germans under Hitler’s National Socialist regime were fifth columnists since they constituted "a group within a country at war [Nazi Germany] who are sympathetic to or working for its enemies [America, England, etc.]." Pro-American Iraqis during the Gulf War were also fifth columnists. Thus, to be a fifth columnist is not intrinsically immoral; it can in fact be highly moral, connotative implications notwithstanding.

IV. Antiwar Does Not Equal Anti-American

It is also important to avoid conflating antiwar sentiment with anti-Americanism. Every war America wages does not merit endorsement, and every antiwar advocate is not a traitor. To make such a conflation abandons critical thought.

Take even America’s near-unanimously approved participation in World War II. An anti-communist critic of American intervention could have argued that an alliance with Stalin against Hitler would facilitate Soviet expansionism—an apprehension validated by Yalta and Potsdam. This position would not entail pro-Nazi sentiment or anti-Americanism.

Of course, many antiwar activists have been and are anti-American. Just as there were those who sought American withdrawal from Vietnam so that Ho Chi Minh could Bolshevize Southeast Asia, today there are those who lament the Taliban’s abolition because they yearn for Islamist hegemony.

See http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/s311224.htm.

2 See http://www.natall.com/what-is-na/na2.html#living.

3 Quoted in Terry H. Anderson, The Movement and the Sixties (New York: 1995), p. 328.

4 On the pro-Mussolini cadres, see Philip V. Cannistraro, Blackshirts in Little Italy: Italian Americans and Fascism (Indiana: 1999); on the Bund, see Charles Higham, American Swastika (New York: 1985); on the Silver Shirts, see Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, The Politics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970 (New York: 1970) and Philip Jenkins, Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925-1950 (Chapel Hill: 1997), pp. 120-125; on Charles Coughlin, see Donald Warren, Radio Priest: Charles Coughlin, the Father of Hate Radio (New York: 1996) and Alan Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (New York: 1983); on Gerald L.K. Smith, see Glen Jeansonne, Gerald L.K. Smith: Minister of Hate (New Haven: 1988); on George Lincoln Rockwell, see Frederick J. Simonelli, American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party (Urbana and Chicago: 1999) and William H. Schmaltz, Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party (Washington: 1999); on Lyndon LaRouche, see Dennis King, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism (New York: 1989); on the National States’ Rights Party, see Lyman Tower Sargent, ed., Extremism in America: A Reader (New York: 1995), pp. 172-175; on al Fuqra, see John J. Miller, "A Junior al Qaeda," National Review, January 31, 2001, Jerry Seper and Steve Miller, "Islamist hide-outs in Virginia, Washington Times, February 11, 2002; on Islamists in America generally, see www.DanielPipes.org.

5 For a discussion of leftism’s anti-religious policies in the context of Soviet Russia, see Richard Pipes, "The Assault on Religion," in Russia under the Bolshevik Regime (New York: 1993), pp. 337-368.

6 Consider recent attempts to coerce the Boy Scouts into accepting homosexuals as members through the mechanism of anti-discrimination law. Insofar as all anti-discrimination laws applied to the private sector violate freedom of association and contract, they are incompatible with property rights and therefore freedom. That anti-discrimination laws criminalize what is often repellent conduct does not justify their violation of proprietary discretion. For further discussion, see Richard Epstein, Forbidden Grounds: The Case against Employment Discrimination Laws (Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1992).

7 The most precious social institution being the family.

8 For instance, Pierce has fused white supremacy with religion to create what he calls Cosmotheism.

9 Rockwell quoted in Simonelli, American Fuehrer, p. 44, Lauck quoted in Alan M. Schwartz, ed., Danger: Extremism, The Major Vehicles and Voices on America’s Far-Right Fringe (New York: 1996), p. 69. Rockwell conceived of a "revolutionary cadre of fighters" to advance his white supremacist totalitarianism. On Nazism’s leftist moorings, see Friedrich Hayek, "The Socialist Roots of Naziism," in The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: 1994), pp. 183-198; Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, "National Socialism and Socialist Racism," in Leftism Revisited: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot (Washington, D.C.: 1990), pp. 145-166; and Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., "Socialist Origins of Neo-Nazism," WorldNetDaily.com, August 13, 1999.

10 Antiwar activist Dave Dellinger exclaims in a 1992 recollection of meeting Ho Chi Minh, "I loved him!" Ron Chepesiuk, Sixties Radicals, Then and Now: Conversations with Those Who Shaped the Era (North Carolina: 1995), p. 85. On Vietnamese communism’s savagery, see R.J. Rummel, "1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State," in Death by Government (New Brunswick: 1994), pp. 241-296.


Myles Kantor is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and editor-at-large for Pureplay Press, which publishes books about Cuban history and culture. His e-mail address is myles.kantor@gmail.com.


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