‘Battle in Seattle’ Brings Left and Right Wing Zealots Together
As the streets of Seattle exploded into 1960s-style violence last November, stunned Americans were told that "anarchists" and other left-wingers were leading a huge riot aimed at protesting capitalist globalism.
Black-masked youths vandalized corporate property, squatters put up "Rent is Theft" signs and hundreds of protesters engaged in pitched street battles with rubber bullet-firing police as they contested the growing power of the pro-free trade World Trade Organization (WTO).
And these reports were true — but only to a point.
Right alongside the "progressive" groups that demonstrated in Seattle — mostly peaceful defenders of labor, the environment, animal rights and similar causes — were the hard-edged soldiers of neofascism. They carried signs decrying "The New World Order Agenda," bitterly denounced "Jewish media plus big capital" and, in at least one case, fought it out with black youths amidst the tear gas.
The "Battle in Seattle" brought erstwhile antagonists together to face a common enemy in the streets.
What was behind this truly remarkable mix? How was it that members of the far "left" and "right" found themselves facing down police together? In the answers to these questions may lie the shape of future American extremism.
"The New American Patriot will be neither left nor right, just a freeman fighting for liberty," white supremacist ideologue Louis Beam wrote in the aftermath of Seattle. "New alliances will form between those who have in the past thought of themselves as 'right-wingers,' conservatives and patriots, with those who have thought of themselves as 'left-wingers,' progressives, or just 'liberal.' "
"The new politics of America is liberty from the NWO ["New World Order"] Police State and nothing more," Beam wrote. Whatever their political sympathies, the violent Seattle protesters were bravely fighting the "Police State goons" who were there "to protect the slimy corporate interest of 'free trade' at the expense of free people."
The common enemy was, in a word, globalism.
'A Precursor to the Future'
More and more, people on both ends of the traditional political spectrum — particularly those who are young — are finding that their world views overlap. They are opposed to what are seen as the homogenizing forces of globalism.
They despise capitalism, with its tendency to concentrate wealth and to make people and economies more and more alike — turning the planet into what is seen as a bland and materialistic McWorld. They pine for nations of peasant-like folk tied closely to the land and to their neighbors. They fight for a pristine environment, a land unsullied by corporate agriculture and urbanization.
They detest man-centered philosophies, seeing animals as no less important than humans. They reject rationalism in favor of a kind of mystical spirituality. Above all, these mainly young people — in some ways, the descendants of the "back-to-the-land" hippies of the 1960s — favor decentralization.
One neofascist group in Britain — which is experiencing a similar left/right convergence — puts it like this: "The [National Revolutionary Faction] is committed to fighting globalisation whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head. ... There will definitely be a convergence between groups presently considered to be opposed to one another...
[W]e are witnessing the gradual emergence of two distinct phenomena: the centralists and the decentralists. The time is approaching when activists from all anti-Capitalist groupings will be forced to decide which side" they are on.
Just listen to Matt Hale, the leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator, who was in Seattle: "[T]he riots ... can be considered the first riots in recent memory by white people. ... What happened in Seattle is a precursor for the future, when white people in droves protest the actions of World Jewry ... by taking to the streets and throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of the enemy's machine. ...
"It is from the likes of the white people who protested the WTO and who, in some cases, went to jail for illegal actions, that the World Church of the Creator must look for our converts — not the stale right wing which has failed miserably to put even one dent in the armor of the Jewish monster," Hale said.
"[W]e should concentrate on these zealots, not the meet, eat and retreat crowd of the right wing."