[Fwd: militia research]

Charles Brown charlesb at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Tue Jun 2 12:35:49 PDT 1998

Without disagreeing with Katha's general skepticism about successfully converting and recruiting militia for left struggle and concern about some with reactionary ideas, the fascistic racist groups mentioned below are not exactly the same as the "militias" in my investigations. And I have had something of a focus on fascistic racist groups for a number of years.

Michigan has one of the biggest militia memberships in the country. One of the leaders , Norman Olson, has been on a Black talk radio show on and off in recent years. About a month ago, he admitted that there are fascistic racist types within the miliitias but insisted that the main leaders do not have a racist program or purpose. Of course, I expect you to ask why should he be believed. Let me say first that I , along with other anti-kkk/neo-nazi activists accused the militias of being proto-fascists when they first became prominent in the news, especially after the bombing in Oklahoma. I still believe there is some danger of this. However, based on longer term observation of their activities and statements, I think Olson claim is authentic. For one thing, KKK/neo-Nazi types don't act civilly on Black talk radio,if they go on at all. The talkshow host did more in depth investigation of the Michigan groups and concluded that racism (more than the average) is not their main agenda or at all.

They are anarchists, so there isn't a single partyline. So, some groups may be more fascistic than Michigan's.

I don't mean to say that the militias don't have mixed in other right wing ideas in their varying ideologies. However, I do think a large fraction are like the average American, say voters for Reagan, with the average type of racism and some other rightwing ideas but not fascist; with the difference that they are radically against the "system" as they understand it. In being against the "system" they are a little different than Promisekeepers and the like. In being against the "system", they are different than most people.

Katha may be correct that there is no realistic chance to "straighten" them out and rechannel their radicalness. But in general, I always think most of the people who will carryout a revolution , if we are to have one in are generation, are NOT revolutionaries now. There aren't going to be a whole new set of people who become the revolutionaries. So, we are sort of stuck with the human material we have now. There is some chance that the militia could correct their understanding of what's wrong with the system , and then their radicalism becomes a plus differentiating them from other quieted sections of the population. They know something is wrong , and are half right that the government is the problem.

Charles Brown

>>> Katha Pollitt <kpollitt at thenation.com> 06/02 3:41 PM >>>
Doug Henwood wrote:
> Katha Pollitt wrote:
> >Why not pay these people at least the respect of taking seriously the
> >beliefs they say they have? You might as well say the nazis weren't
> >"really" anti-semitic, but were just using that vocabulary to express
> >their class anger.
> Who are "the militias" in your mind, and how do you know that they're
> either professedly or covertly anti-Semitic?
> Doug

Well, good question. And not just for me -- for all of us. Let's all be more specific about who we are talking about. I think I'm mostly thinking about the Aryan Nation and Christian Identity people, Posse comitatus etc. I don't know if you'd call those Militia people. The people who are upset about black helicopters, call the US govt the Zionist Occupation Government, refer to nonwhites as "mud people," love the "turner Diaries" etc. I think they are anti-semitic because they are!

best, katha

Who are you talking about when you refer to the militias?

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