Same-sex marriage, immigration, globalization and Islam were out, while a picture of a bare-chested Vladimir Putin astride a bear was in, at the paradoxically named International Russian Conservative Forum, a gathering of extreme-right ultranationalist groups from Europe and the U.S. in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jared Taylor of the white nationalist journal American Renaissance and sometimes Klan lawyer Sam Dickson shared the stage at the March 22 conclave with, among others, representatives of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, a party linked to criminal violence which in 2012 won 21 seats on the Greek parliament after running on an anti-immigrant platform “so we can rid this land of filth.”
Other European participants included Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, which in 2008 declared President Obama’s victory the result of an “alliance of Jews and Negroes”; Italy’s openly fascist Forza Nuova; the Russian Imperial Movement, and many other denizens of the Europe’s white nationalist extreme right. Tellingly, France’s National Front (FN) party, a far-right outfit whose success in shedding the stench of its Holocaust-denying founder has been demonstrated by recent electoral success, sent no delegates. (In retaliation, an even farther right French party criticized FN’s leader for having gay friends.)
The conference — the general theme of which was the wonderfulness of white people, contrasted with the nefariousness of diversity, Islam and “Third World” immigrants — was cut short by police investigating a bomb threat that turned out to be false. But there was plenty of time for Dickson to denounce President Obama for promoting “Third-World Immigration,” and for Taylor to say America “is committing suicide,” revile diversity as “the great assassin of tradition, of identity, of everything that makes a society authentic and unique,” and to call for all-white territories to be set aside by the “great family of Western Man.” It was Taylor’s first publicized transatlantic trip since the National Policy Institute’s failed Identitarian Congress in Budapest, Hungary, last October, a racist gathering that was foiled by the arrest and deportation of its organizer, Richard Spencer.
Extreme-right groups in the U.S. and Europe have worked for years to form a unified voice against what they see as an organized effort to undercut white cultural power across the West. But today’s sporadic and fragile alliances are nothing like what they were in the days of William Pierce, the founder of the National Alliance (NA), a once-powerful U.S. neo-Nazi hate group that has fallen on hard times since Pierce’s death in 2002. At the height of his power in the 1990s, Pierce formed NA chapters in several European countries and cultivated ties with Golden Dawn, the National Democratic Party and other European far-right groups.
With extreme-right groups more or less thriving in Europe, it will be interesting to see whether Taylor, Dickson, Spencer or any other U.S.-based white nationalists are able to recreate the transnational white power support network that Pierce was well on the way to organizing. Based on the weak showing that was the International Russian Conservative Forum, the odds of that do not look good.