About Schmidt: How a White Nationalist Seduced Anarchists Around the World (Chapter 3)

  • Posted on: 17 October 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Medium - By Alexander Reid Ross and Joshua Stephens

Strangely Quiet and Troubled

After the publication of Black Flame, Michael Schmidt began distancing himself from and finally left the ZACF. According to one source within the group, they’d done their “best to recruit new people, including a ‘colored’ member who joined in 2010… Michael [Schmidt] left at around the same time because he had ‘ideological differences.’ That was shortly after he voted for Freedom Front Plus in the national election.” Speaking to the double standards of the organizational culture Schmidt had helped create at the ZACF, a source told us that Schmidt received no official criticism about voting for the FF+, but a female member of the ZACF was disciplined around the same time for wanting to join a feminist reading group.

The ZACF has since continued its transition from Schmidt’s era to a far-more inclusive group, and it was during the lengthy debate around members joining collectives with ideological differences that Schmidt issued his parting letter to the ZACF on March 12, 2010, declaring he would no longer be a member or supporter (except in spirit). “I’m burned out after 20 years of activism and am feeling pretty emotionally damaged by the longer-term effects of my divorce, of my disillusionment with the working class as a result of the 2008 Pogroms, and of all the killings and heavy stuff I have seen over 20 years of journalism.” Schmidt’s divorce took place before 2006, but was still as fresh in his mind as Rwanda in 1994, and what he calls the 2008 “Pogroms,” in which a wave of xenophobic riots swept South Africa. However, there was more in the air at that time than Schmidt let on.

Less than a month after the Black Battlefront posts on February 17th, and a week before Schmidt left the ZACF, Eugene Terre’Blanche, a founding leader of the white nationalist paramilitary group Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), was killed by farmhands. It had been less than a year since Schmidt had voted for the FF+. The links between these two groups are important to note in understanding Schmidt’s rationale: the FF+ was founded by the leader of a paramilitary Afrikaner Volksfront group called the South African Defense Force, which joined the AWB in 1994 to violently disrupt the vote that dissolved the segregated Bantustan of Bophuthatswana— one of the final victories over apartheid. The two groups had connections, but they remained distinct and, like many white supremacist groups, often combative.

Eugene Terre’Blanche, backdropped by the AWB flag.

On his Stormfront profile, KarelianBlue vented his spleen over the Terre’Blanche murder:

I have yet to go out and read what the mainstream yellow press has to say about this, but i’m certain the black genocidaire parasites will be celebrating this cowardly hate-crime murder. This is where the ‘kill the Boer’ and ‘kill for Zuma’ hate-speech leads: to the very real slaughter of aryan South Africans.

The post is followed by four, red-hot angry emoticons. Within a matter of days, Schmidt had penned and published an article warning of potential “Boer genocide.”

With a lengthy and difficult title — “Death and the Mielieboer: The Eugène Terre’Blanche Murder & Poor-White Canon-fodder in South Africa” (Mielieboer roughly translates to “maize farmer,” a symbol of Boer nationalism) — Schmidt’s article, published via the anarchist website Anarkismo, contemplated the murder of genocidal killer and pro-apartheid paramilitary leader, Eugene Terre’Blanche, as an act consistent with a movement toward genocide against white South Africans. Even the title seemed to associate Terre’Blanche with the Mielieboer, the archetypal hero of the rural, white Afrikaner nationalists who supported apartheid.

Casting “a strangely quiet and troubled” shadow over the death of Terre’Blanche, Schmidt relayed that his hatred of the white nationalist leader had “all but drained away.” Schmidt explained that he was especially put off by the fact that “the way Terre’Blanche died was the way so… ordinary; it was the way many poor rural whites die, hacked to death in their beds for reasons grand and petty, criminal and (despite strong government denials) racial” (his ellipses).

“It’s not that there is a ‘Boer Genocide’ (as yet) as many on the far right already proclaim,” claimed Schmidt, “but some powder-keg combination of race and class is killing our white farmers at an alarming rate.” The combination of race and class at the root of “farm killings,” Schmidt claims, is actuated by the “link between [African National Congress (ANC)] hate speech calling for the killing of the Boers and, well, the actual killing of Boers.” These claims of hate speech resonate with Schmidt’s rhetoric of “black racism,” “white rights,” and “Boer genocide” to formulate an ideology that sees racism not as a power relation developed through the historical narratives of colonial Europe, but as a static relativist doctrine that views white people as victims of racist oppression.

Schmidt followed this statement claiming that “Against [the] tense backdrop [of failed land reform], the murder rate of white farmers is four times higher than the rest of the population — in a country with the highest murder rate in the world of any country not at war — and the viciousness which accompanies many killings belies purely criminal motive.” These farm killings are racist crimes against whites stoked by the ANC, Schmidt insisted, and in his first draft of this article, he defiantly ended his piece with the lines, “Will I not speak out merely because I am not a Boer? No; I’ve said my piece. But will I celebrate, knowing it will be presumed to endorse the slaughter of poor rural whites? Hell no!”

Schmidt’s statement reads like a searing indictment of the ANC, which he believes is stoking angry “black genocidaires” into militant action against poor whites in order to turn the working class against itself. However, according to the SAPS National Planning Commission, the number of white murder victims in police analysis of murder dockets is a mere 1.8% (disproportionate to the 9% of the population that is white), many of whom are not rural poor, putting to rest the idea of incoming genocide. The number of murders per 100,000 people in South Africa in 1970 was 32.12; the number reached a peak around 1994, during the transition to democracy, and had actually declined below 1970 levels by 2011/2012, so violence in South Africa, far from reaching terrifying new heights, was declining.

With regard to the rate of farm killings, Schmidt’s claim that Afrikaner farmers are being slaughtered at four times the average rate was rejected even by Genocide Watch, the only human rights group that has entertained claims of genocide. In their July 12, 2012 report, Genocide Watch listed the situation in South Africa as “polarization,” two stages away from actual genocide. However, these terms are contestable, according to the fact-checking organization, AfricaCheck, since numbers of killings between 1994 and 2012 by the Transvaal Agricultural Union do not take into account that nearly 40% of those killed in farm attacks were non-whites — even though the one tenth of South Africans who own more than 80% of the land are overwhelmingly white. Putting things into a crisper class perspective, the South African Institute for Race Relations explains that commercial farmers are twice as likely to be killed as the average citizen.

Genocide is defined as “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” Since white farmers do not make up a nationality or ethnic group, and since the rate of killings correlates to class position, no other respectable group has agreed that “Boer genocide” is a phenomenon worth studying. In fact, Human Rights Watch has criticized not only the term “Boer genocide,” but the term “farm killings,” denouncing the amount of focus given to farm killings in South Africa, as opposed to the crimes committed against black farm workers:

Violence against farmworkers and residents is perpetrated not only by farm owners and managers, with whom they are in daily contact, but also by private security companies and vigilante groups hired by farm owners. Those seeking to uphold farmworkers’ interests have also been harassed and assaulted when they have sought access to farms.

The discourse of “white genocide” rose to prominence during the 1960s and ’70s, as the colonial grip of the North Atlantic began to loosen its hold. Novels like Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail (much appreciated by the former-leader of France’s radical right populist party, the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, among others), stoke fear of a terror rising in the South — from India to Algeria, wherein the maniacal, sub-human barbarians begin raping and slaughtering whites by the thousands, and suddenly, off the Mediterranean coast, an invasion fleet appears from Africa preparing to exact a phantasmagoria of revenge. The notion that African self-rule would mean the genocide of all whites has since become standard fare for white supremacists, and has even helped shape neo-fascist rhetoric around “the immigration problem,” rather than “the Jewish question.”

A former leader of the Nazi Party of America, Harold Covington lived in then-Rhodesia during the mid-1970s, and has become one of the foremost spokespeople on the subject of “white genocide” in the US. After living in Rhodesia, Covington moved to North Carolina where he purportedly took part in organizing the 1979 Greensboro Massacre — the brutal shooting of five members of the Communist Workers Party during an anti-Klan rally in broad daylight. Covington claims to have fled the US in search of asylum in the UK, where he helped create a violent, racist skinhead group called C18. Finally settling in the Pacific Northwest, Covington became a leading exponent of a white secessionist movement under the slogan of the “Northwest Imperative.”

Another important promulgator of “white genocide,” Dylann Storm Roof proudly wore the flags of Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) and apartheid-era South Africa on his jacket before carrying out the June 18, 2015, massacre of six black parishioners in a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. After the shootings, Covington weighed in: “there will be more of this kind of thing in the future as our people finally begin to respond, sluggishly and spasmodically and incorrectly, to the ongoing genocide.”

Frazier Glenn Miller, the white supremacist who murdered three people outside of a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City on Passover Eve last year, argued during his sentencing that “diversity is a code word for white genocide” and that the killings were justified on the basis of preventing its ongoing threat. Schmidt’s language of “white genocide” is the same rhetorical device used in his Stormfront posts, and the same deployed by Covington, Roof, and Miller.

Afrikaner Nationalism

Rather than the killing of Terre’Blanche as an opportunity to discuss the harsh, racist climate faced by African farmhands, and call for increased solidarity to end the conditions of farm killings, Schmidt brushes off the history of exploitation of Africans in order to rehabilitate an ultranationalist caricature of the Boer:

True, they were and often remain an austere, narrow people: one of their Calvinist sects, the Doppers, is deliberately named after the tin cap or dop used to extinguish a candle, the message being the need to extinguish the Enlightenment. And true, they often beat ‘their blacks’ with an offhanded cruelty, and at best established a paternalistic overlordship over them known as baasskap (boss-hood). But in their warfare with, suffering at the hands of, and eventual enslavement of the Bantu, a strange relationship developed: alone among all white settlers on the African continent, they self-identified en masse as Afikaners, as Africans, not Europeans, and severed their ties to their distant motherlands. The they [sic] and their black neighbours lived, ate, thought and died, merged and became inextricably intertwined: well over 10-million more black South Africans today speak Afrikaans, the slave’s idiom-rich, story-telling pidgin-Dutch of old, than do whites; while platteland (big-sky farmland) Afrikaners are fluent in African vernacular languages.

Schmidt’s declaration that Afrikaners have become “inextricably intertwined” with Africans obscures a rather glaring lacuna in his own historical approach. On the one hand, he argues that militant apartheid supporter Terre’Blanche is a representative of the Mielieboer, and on the other, he claims that the Afrikaners mixed with the Africans to create an authentic form of nationalism. In Schmidt’s view, Terre’Blanche somehow figures as a representative of Afrikaners intermixing with Africans — an unlikely prospect, but one worth investigating.

Considering the paradoxical manner by which the Boer “inextricably intertwined” with “African neighbors” (presumably not those forcibly removed to Bantustans, the equivalent of “Indian Reservations” in apartheid-era South Africa), it might be helpful to recognize that Terre’Blanche’s hero was, ironically, Shaka Zulu. This kind of appropriation of an African leader by white Afrikaners represents a synthetic identity pegged to colonial conquest, not of true respect or “intertwining.” (It is also the same sense of identity ideated by Strandwolf.) That more Africans now speak Afrikaans, the language of their former slave masters, does not go far to prove the authenticity of Afrikaner nationalism — the “stolen dream” of the Afrikaner Volksfront, which attempted to have Afrikaners identified as indigenous peoples of South Africa by the UN. Rather, it reveals the sheer historical magnitude of colonial rule.

While apartheid was by no means forced on poor whites from above, Terre’Blanche still does not represent the broad majority of Afrikaners. His death did not imply their death, or even a sign of their coming death. Rather than representing poor whites, Terre’Blanche represented a specific tradition of poor white extremists in South Africa that fought, through extralegal means, to deepen apartheid in order to better the economic situation of poor whites (less than 10% of the population at its height). These are the same kind of extremists who united to fight against the dissolution of apartheid Bantustans in 1994, and who Schmidt voted for in 2009.

Furthermore, Schmidt’s article obscured the fascist roots of Terre’Blanche’s AWB in order to present a völkisch apology for Afrikaner nationalism. According to The Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right (2005, Routledge), the AWB represented “probably the most famous post-war fascist movement on any continent.” According to Schmidt, however, “Despite the childish shock-value of their swastika-like flag, they aren’t neo-Nazis (pagan Nazism gained little purchase in Protestant South Africa)” (his emphasis). Of course, numerous non-pagan examples of fascism have existed and continue to exist throughout the world. There have also been non-pagan neo-Nazis, like the American Nazi Party, among other groups, which adopted Christian Identity during the 1960s. Yet Schmidt confines his discourse to specifically-pagan National Socialism in order to cleanse the stigma of Nazism (and implicitly fascism) from the AWB, something he would attempt later and more controversially with national-anarchism. Instead, the AWB are depicted as “ultra-conservative Calvinists who dream of a separate white bantustan of their own — this being the same stolen dream of generations of Boers.” Given the horrifying crimes of the AWB, Schmidt’s sympathetic take on their “stolen dream” of a Boerestaat, is chilling.

Schmidt admitted his belief in the prospect of a Boerestaat to us in an interview: “A proper ‘Boerestaat’ would be a multiracial autonomous territory — as they always were — except that it would have to guarantee equal rights to all.” This call for a majority-white state in South Africa that would grant equal rights to racial minorities was virtually identical to his post less than a month before in Black Battlefront.

Rather than manifesting a neo-Nazi threat against the state, Schmidt claims, Terre’Blanche “was viewed by the radical right — and most anarchist-communists in SA probably can only concur — as a conservative buffoon, useful to the ‘New South African’ political-economic establishment as a scary outsider” who could motivate people toward a “moderate,” neo-liberal political option. While aligning anarchist perspectives with the radical right in a telling “red-brown” analysis, Schmidt (perhaps unwittingly) raised an interesting point: Terre’Blanche was among the most recognizable symbols of the Boerestaat, but he gave it a negative connotation, which it seems Schmidt resented. Schmidt sought to play down Terre’Blanche’s fascism, and attempts to rekindle his “stolen dream,” as an answer to the allegedly growing potential of the “Boer genocide” — a classic white nationalist narrative.

Perforce, after Schmidt published his article on Terre’Blanche, he received an incredible amount of positive attention from white supremacists online, who characterized him as a strong journalist speaking out against purported “white genocide.” In a very public way, racist white separatists all over the country were posting Schmidt’s articles to their blogs dedicated to “white genocide,” declaring that Schmidt was speaking for them. In an article on one right-wing blog called Why We Are White Refugees, the author intriguingly claimed that Schmidt declared his intention to form a vigilante group to protect white journalists from killings: “[Schmidt] has informed the ANC that should these journalists murders continue, he and his journalist followers shall be forced to step in to defend these defenseless Journalists their husbands, wives & children.”

While he did not appreciate so much exposure in the white supremacist blogosphere, Schmidt was still comfortable enough in our interview to use the notion of “white genocide” in terms of culture: “I wholeheartedly support the destruction of structural whiteness, that is, the race-supremacist structures of the European-originated part of capitalism (bear in mind that [S]ino-supremacism prevails in state-capitalist China where Uighurs, Tibetans, Manchus etc are racially suppressed). But as a white person living in Africa as a minority the bulk of which are working class (3,2-million out of 4,5-million), I taste a smack of genocide in the desire by race fanatics to destroy even cultural whiteness.” As elsewhere, we found Schmidt insisting that white culture must be preserved against the specter of racist, anti-white, Maoist traitors who apparently come with some whiff of genocide.

The Breakdown Begins

According to a South African web designer who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, Schmidt and a friend checked in to ask if he could create a white nationalist anarchist website for them. The request was unceremoniously refused, but this was likely the beginning of what would become the media organ of “Black Battlefront.”

As Schmidt left the ZACF, Black Battlefront maintained a Facebook presence administered by an account that he now claims to have created named Ardent Vinlander. A female of Ukrainian origin, Ardent Vinlander was the person who Schmidt had originally identified as the brains behind Black Battlefront. Based on our research, it appears her Facebook account was initiated in 2009. She seems to have been Schmidt’s fantasy Aryan woman, who he invented out of thin air — a modern, Scythian woman of the Steppes of Eurasia who hates feminism and loves guns; a Steppenwolf come down to join the white African movement as a Strandwolf.

At one point in our interview, Schmidt told us that the architect of the site was “Ardent Smith.” When we mentioned that he had earlier stated the site’s architect was Vinlander, he did not respond. When we looked up Smith online, we could not find him (categorized as a male, not a female like Vinlander); however, we looked with a different account, and he was there with a faceless avatar. Among his posted links was an article called “Why Liberals Are Terrified of Anders Breivik,” by Robert Henderson, a radical-right columnist who has also written for a notorious neo-fascist publication of the “New Right” ilk, The Occidental Observer. Among Smith’s likes was the racist English Defense League (formerly known as the White Defense League). Far from a Ukrainian South African woman, Ardent Smith seemed to be an English man — likely created by Schmidt in order to communicate among neo-fascists in the UK without being detected by anarchist peers.

Another sockpuppet account, François Le Sueur, was initiated just a couple of months after the Terre’Blanche article. Based on photographs of his family with the last name Le Sueur, as well as confirmation from former friends and Schmidt’s own admission to us, we have concluded that Le Sueur is likely Schmidt’s given last name. Michael Schmidt is presumably an adoptive family name. Very much like his Stormfront profile, with its photographs of Schmidt and its personal information, the Facebook account he uses for Black Battlefront contains obvious personal information. This seemed to us to indicate that Black Battlefront and Stormfront were, in fact, closer to Schmidt’s personality than his more-nominal personas.

Le Sueur’s Facebook account profile bears a photo of a totenkopf — the “death’s head” skull and crossbones insignia used by the Nazi SS. His inaugural post is about a National Socialist named Louis Weichardt. The month after Le Sueur came into the world, however, Schmidt was struck down by a terrible case of meningitis, and then broke his spine during seizures caused by the virus.

On his more-public Facebook account, Schmidt stated in late-July, three weeks after going to the hospital, that it is his last day as an in-patient. He declared in his public response to AK Press dated September 27, 2015, “[I]n the subsequent months, due to heavy pain medication and perhaps some brain damage caused by the meningitis/seizure, my memory is patchy about what I posted online under my Stormfront and Facebook aliases[.]” In our interview, he told us that he stayed with a photographer and his wife for the following month. In fact, according to his Facebook profile at the time, on July 28th, the day he left the hospital, he claimed he was “convalescing with friends,” and by August 2, he was “back at home with a prodigious amount of chocolate to wade through.” According to another public statement, he was “cared for by some friends,” and in a different public statement, he claimed he was “visited” by friends, who he didn’t remember. On August 10th, about a week after returning home, he told his Facebook friends that he would be going to Cape Town for a week, and added with a sense of humor, “be prepared for a party.”

On August 20th, less than a month after leaving the hospital, he reported (via Facebook) that he was “walking without crutches at last (and [...] back from a very chilled week in Cape Town, for those of you who want to hook up in Joburg)!” By this point he was posting twice a day, lucidly, about a variety of subjects, including going on a date —one commenter told him to wear a condom, and he responded with full emotional maturity that the date was likely to be a platonic occasion. He described himself as “busy proof-reading Zabalaza: a Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism #11” by late-August (a post commented on by Ardent Vinlander). In early September, he was appearing on FM radio with Lucien van der Walt and posting comments critical of the “reactionary ideology of ‘wimin centered’ identity politics that preaching that men and women are enemy species.”

Why did Schmidt tell this story about his two-month “delirium” in which he might have posted anything on Stormfront or Facebook? The answer is right in his public response: “as a result of one of those posts in that period, in 2011 some anarchist comrades came across a Black Battlefront link to my Stormfront profile and in shock recognized my face.” There were two posts, actually, which came in early October and late-November, October having been more than two months and November having been about three months after Schmidt was released from the hospital in late-July.

According to two documentarians, Aragorn Eloff and Steffie, they became suspicious after Ardent Vinlander contacted them in late 2011 to suggest that they consider including proponents of national-anarchism in a film they were making about anarchism. They checked Schmidt’s more-public Facebook profile, and discovered Vinlander had commented on his Facebook profile at around the same time that new posts came up in Black Battlefront. This connection between Black Battlefront and Schmidt led them to Schmidt’s Stormfront profile, which they asked him to explain.

When approached about the content of his Stormfront profile and Black Battlefront, Schmidt now says he lied, claiming he did not have any connections to Black Battlefront. He also stated that his Stormfront profile went active after being “vetted by [his] editor” claiming he still used it for research. In his statements to Eloff, Schmidt revealed the original version of his story, which interestingly switches out the names “Ardent Vinlander” and “Ardent Smith” again:

“Some years ago, I ran into a curious character at a club who claimed to be of part Ukrainian descent, and who expressed an interest in the Makhnovists, so naturally we chatted. She was a late-30s woman called Ardent Smith, though she used another name when she befriended me on facebook. It turned out she works for a private intelligence firm called Erebus. She’s not often in SA, so we corresponded mostly by fb. Then some time later, she defriended me (fb didn’t alert me, but she’d just disappeared). That was the last contact we had [in fact, Vinlander posts on his profile in August, 2010]… In mid-2010, meningitis and breaking my spine laid me low for three months. At this time, my Stormfront profile posted a link to a “national-anarchist” fb group run by Smith and some others, called Black Battlefront. I suspected my profile had been hacked, but never got a satisfactory answer from the Stormfront moderators. This is, I believe, what alerted you to what was going on?… As a result of that single post, I was formally approached by the ZACF… to ask what was going on. I informed them of all of the above. By curious coincidence, a close friend of mine, who I don’t wish to identify, had just confessed to me that she had previously been employed for years by the NIA to spy on Dale McKinley — and by extension, friends of his like myself and the ZACF coms. In other words, it was confirmation for me that I was, in part at least, an intelligence target… So, all taken together, at a time when I was vulnerable (ill and in bed-ridden), I may have been subject to some kind of counter-intelligence game played by Smith and her spook friends (who may include the NIA; my ex-NIA friend says she doesn’t know Smith). Its objective may have been to smear me within the movement, and in this it appears successful[.] :-P Either way, it did not recur, I gave a full explanation to my ZACF coms, and I believe I have proven what side I am on by my continual production of articles for anarkismo, work o n the anarchist books Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism, Global Fire, Springwaters of Anarchy, and The People Armed, plus a new series of pamphlets I am working on: On the Waterfront, Critical Mass, Uruguayan Anarchism Armed, etc. Hardly the output of a hostile party, I hope you’ll agree?”

There seems little way around the conclusion that Schmidt used anterograde amnesia as part of an elaborate lie to deny involvement with Black Battlefront at the time, and claims that Smith/Vinlander (the sockpuppet account(s) he claims to have invented on Facebook, but who he also claims to have met at a bar) may have been in cahoots with a close friend of his who came out as a spy. Hence, in his public statement, he insists, “[I] could not risk my penetration of the ‘National-Anarchist Movement’ becoming known in activist circles in case other [South African National Intelligence] agents got wind of it and used the information for their own ends.” However, Schmidt’s affiliations with the “National-Anarchist Movement” did continue on Stormfront, and again percolated up to his public articles.

While Schmidt navigated what he described to us as a “whisper campaign,” Le Sueur was so active online that Keith Preston, who runs the pan-secessionist blog, Attack the System, even quoted him in his book of the same name, calling him “one of my readers.” Preston is a former-anarchist who believes that if everyone, left and right wing (inclusive of fascists and neo-Confederates), supports secession, humanity will break apart the greater evil of the federal government, and create metropolitan regions dominated by the Nietzschean ubermensch. Specifically, Preston quotes Le Sueur’s rebuttal of antifascist writer Matthew Lyons’s brilliant critique of pan-secessionism:

The questions raised by [Lyons] appear to reduce to one single fear: the question of power; that decentralizing power allows for no comprehensive/universalist (totalitarian?) enforcement of social norms. And this is clearly what the author wishes: some universal enforcement mechanism that can punish communities for their ‘deviant’ social choices. Surely that is true authoritarianism, writ large, compared with the possibility of some communities choosing authoritarianism writ small as a much lesser threat to civilization?

These communities would include, for Preston, Russia’s fascist National Bolshevik groups and Christian Identity fascist groups, which provides, in Lyons’s words, “a recipe for warlordism.”

Le Sueur and Preston embraced national-anarchist formations, along with other red-brown secessionist assemblages, as an opportunity to join together in dismantling the perceived greater threat of the US federal government and Zionist imperialism. Not only was Michael Schmidt quoted by Keith Preston as François Le Sueur, but he was quoted as a critic of antifascist analysis, indicating to us that if he was doing “research” with his fascist personality, it was in service of and not to infiltrate the pan-secessionist and national-anarchist tendencies. Schmidt’s own appreciation for Keith Preston’s Attack the System blog was laid bare in an article written by Preston and shared on February 27, 2011, by the Le Sueur Facebook page called, “Am I a Fascist?” Preston and Le Sueur were also “friends” on Facebook.

In November 2010, while purportedly in the throes of amnesia, Le Sueur proclaimed he was “working on a Black Battlefront position statement on the reasoning behind the establishment of a white anarchist organization,” the exact term Schmidt publicly used to describe the ZACF in 2008. At the same time, KarelianBlue outlined his plans for a Boerestaat on another post to Stormfront:

[first, to] promote the secessionist Cape Party… then to expand the concept of the ‘Cape’ upwards into Namibia… and lastly to radicalise it by decentralising power in the Cape/Namibia… with the finance-capitalist elements removed and returned to popular control.

The idea was that white supremacists would enter into the secessionist party to mobilize control over a larger territory, effecting a recolonization process of white nationalism under the condition that they would later decentralize and socialize the means of production. On his own post, KarelianBlue commented that a new entry in his Black Battlefront blog was available.

The transition to using Black Battlefront as an organ occurred in direct relation to Schmidt’s leaving the ZACF during a debate over the inclusion of feminism and the recruitment of people of color. Since he was losing authority over the ZACF (which grew increasingly open to people of color after Schmidt’s departure), he designed his own clandestine group to carry out the interests of a “white ‘national’ organization” by promoting a white separatist party. According to one of the most prominent advocates of national-anarchism, Troy Southgate, the appropriate strategy for so-called “national-anarchists” to gain power is called entryism:

Entryism is the name given to the process of entering or infiltrating bona fide organisations, institutions and political parties with the intention of either gaining control of them for our own ends, misdirecting or disrupting them for our own purposes or converting sections of their memberships to our cause.

It would appear that KarelianBlue’s plan to promote the Cape Party matched this strategy perfectly.

Schmidt’s desire to promote the aims of a “proper Boerestaat,” which he admitted to us, combined with his testament to his own Boer/Afrikaner identity in his reflections on Terre’Blanche, prove that, after publishing Black Flame, voting for the FF+, and leaving the ZACF, he began to reissue his concerted effort to push for a “white anarchist organization” more independently. He had created a group where he could explicitly discuss his desired themes of racialized “cultural differences” and advocate for a separate, white anarchist organization. Moreover, through Black Battlefront, he would have an opportunity to link up with national-anarchists and pan-secessionists around the world. As this process continued, his open promotion of the Cape Party and FF+-style secessionism would turn toward increasingly-obvious displays of neo-fascism.



Well damn, now I know why AK made a statement before releasing the evidence. They wanted Schmidt to give explanations that didn't add up so it would all be more damning. And it is.

I'm not going to pretend to know what went on behind the scenes, but I've done enough writing and organizing that I can put myself in their place and venture a few guesses. They were in a really shitty position - publicly associated with Schmidt and his works, knowing the truth but not yet being ready to release the full journalistic takedown. One way or the other they were going to face a firestorm of criticism, whether they went public without all the evidence ready to present or kept their mouths shut (as some people obviously had for years). Worse yet, jumping the gun with confidential internal documents and other evidence gathered within the ZACF posed a whole pile of security risks for actual anarchists in a country where organizing can easily get you beaten or killed (as the other day's threats against ZACF organizers demonstrate...). Compound all of that with the logistical demands of putting this all together on two continents and I can certainly picture why this all took so long.

Could this have been handled better? I'm sure it could, and I can see why people are pissed. I just don't see how it eclipses the Schmidt issue in any way. This goes way beyond the kind of unfortunate statements made by the likes of Lawrence Jarach or the callous ignorance of Bob Black. A full-fucking bonehead just managed to become one of the world's leading authors on anarchist history and theory. That's a big deal, and deserves a hell of a lot more comment space than the shortcomings of AK press (unless you're intentionally trying to avoid the issue, which many obviously are).

I have a feeling the serialized nature of the allegations has contributed to the exaggerated criticism of AK and the authors. As in, people didn't realize quite how exhaustive the evidence confirming Schmidt's crypto-fascism was nor how bizarre the actual details would prove to be. I am still astonished that a white supremacist/nationalist so deeply committed to his beliefs can carry out an entire other double life as a widely read and published anarchist "scholar". It clearly goes beyond simple infiltration, and speaks to the mindset of a fragmented and conflicted individual, to say the least. About the best we can say about the situation is that at least the absolutist garbage that is Black Flame will no longer be an object of adoration for some in our communities.

I'm not sure that Schmidt's 'fragmented' psyche is all that unique. It seems quite similar to typical compartmentalization. And apparently he was not all that 'crypto' in his fascism given he spread pictures of himself and unnecessarily personal descriptions of his everyday life on fucking Stormfront. Its dangerous to try to minimize this kind of thing - almost as so as letting it create a panick within the milieus. But there has to be some way to try to measure to what extent this kind of thing has gone already.

I'd say the first step would be a coherent definition of fascism that focuses on the ideology and its history rather than hysterical name-calling. Fascism isn't just anything we don't like, nor is it authoritarianism or right-wing thought in general. The particular mix of populism, nationalism and reactionary thought which embodies (actual) fascism poses particular threats (to us and people in general) which normal neoliberal statism doesn't, and which usually serve to complement state power in terrifying ways (can you name a single fascist movement of any significance which wasn't deeply in bed intelligence agencies?).

As for how far it's spread within anarchism, aside from a few obvious examples I don't know that there's really that many card-carrying boneheads in the millieu. On the other hand, there's more than a few people on here who are obviously leaning in that direction, and some serious fucking defensiveness around this issue in particular. Honestly I expect to lose more than a few people over the next few years as these movements pick up steam and folks start to yearn for groups, ideologies and leaders who can bring "results". This has all happened before.

Anyone who cares should probably visit sites like AttackTheSystem themselves. Stop taking other people's word on what fascism is and go ask the fascists, they're remarkably forthcoming on the subject. Be warned though, this shit is everywhere and once you've spent a few nights reading their essays you'll start to recognize it all the fucking time.

I think fascism and anarchism (sadly) have more potential overlap than most anarchists are willing to admit.

I am struck by the disparity between how much time and effort went into writing this expose and how little went into writing AK Press' initial statement.

Schmidtception, InSchmidtious, Schmidtster Act, I Schmidt On Your Grave, Bring Schmidt On, I Know What You Schmidt Last Summer, Adventures in BabySchmidting.
Just friendly suggestions for other movie title references. Fuck this guy and laugh at him.
I heard Schmidtshow Bob replied to accusations about his tattoos:
"No, that's German for 'The Blacks The.'"

Song titles? Very Schmidtitious, I am a Schmidtitist, Like a rolling Schmidt, Shut up and Schmidt, Tear in my Schmidt

80's mixtape
What's Love Got To Do With Schmidt, Schmidt Me With Your Best Shot, Schmidt Takes Two, Don't Dream Schmidt's Over, Schmidt to be Square, and the rousing anthem We're Not Gonna Take Schmidt.

Just Schmidt the fuck up, you little Schmidt.

Ultimately, for the San people, anyone not bearing gifts or benefits for them is a schmuck (Schmidt), that includes all other tribes and races living in South Africa, even black anarchists!

Funny how weird South African racism is randomly inserted here. Is that Schmidt or just one of his "comrades"?

The San are the bomb. Why work when there are so many mongongo trees in the world?

Most people commenting - and particularly those who have been commenting on libcom - can't see the wood for the trees. There's a lot of fetishism of the particular, in order to avoid a critique of more general aspects of the situation. In particular the identification with organising an Organisation, as opposed to organising specific activities, which made especially the members of Zabalaza keep their mouths shut. They seem to have been so tied up with their need to be part of this organisation that they forgot their own point of view, they failed to express their own silent critiques and break with an organisation that put this decrepid political journalist on a pedestal, incapable of distanciating themselves from the collectivity. And it's this that is a general problem with those who identify with this milieu (a milieu can often act similarly to a political organisation).

As a black guy from South Africa said, after reading the first part of all this bullschidt,

all the members of these little groupscules that are jumping to condemn him
.... you can observe exactly the same sort of
shit in their own relations... The division between unofficial leaders and
followers seen in all leftist scenes around the world often takes a
uniquely racial form in SA, and Schmidt is one of the few who dares to face
up to it. Sure, he does so in a pretty stupid way, but how different is his
attempt “to have this divide [of] explicitly recognized (white) rearward
collectives …[from] (black) frontline collectives” from Bakunin’s invisible
dictatorship? What stands out with Bakunin and Schmidt is not that they
accepted the existence of hierarchical practice despite their professed
anti-authoritarian theories, but that they did so “explicitly” whereas most
anti-authoritarians are either too delusional or too cowardly to do this
and prefer to accept it “implicitly”.....
In general much of this has to do with the entirely ahistorical attitude
most leftists adopt towards questions of organisation. To be able to ask a
question as stupid as “whether the black proletariat is more “politico-culturally” inclined towards Marxist-Leninist or African socialist
authoritarianism” you have to completely ignore the question of whether the
present society is more historically inclined towards conditions favourable
to forms of organisation dominated by passive and spectacular relations –
conditions that can and must be consciously subverted. Indeed for most
leftists, anti-authoritarian or otherwise, such a question will be the last
one ever to enter their heads. And it shows.

As long as leftists remain determined to keep the relation between
themselves and their own practice at the level of the unconscious their associations will remain fundamentally reactionary both internally and externally. This is what happens when you try to imagine revolutionary activity can carve a niche for itself outside the spectacle. It is the inevitable result of separating subversion from everyday life. Don’t expect 99% of these self-righteous libtards to benefit in the slightest from this latest in the long list of pseudo-scandals.

One half of them will simply use it to score points in the usual sectarian
way (‘libertarian communists’ yapping about how this proves the inadequacy
of ‘platformism’, etc) while the other half will try to say that this bears
no reflection whatsoever on anything beyond the ‘purely individual’
attitudes of Schmidt and anyone that says otherwise is sectarian.

I must admit that his talk about “the physical and intellectual rigours of
the anarchist communist organisation” made me smile. The fact that this
person can even mention “in the case of the SACP/YCL, the sale of branded
communist gear’ in the context of serious ‘attempts to (re)build a
popular-class counterculture through something other than toyi-toyi” says a lot about what his idea of “physical and intellectual rigours” might be.
Then again in the very same breath he says that because “logical process,
self-discipline and autonomous strategic thinking has been strangled at
birth” (of course this strangulation is in fact perpetrated by the
spectacle against “all” individuals “on a continuous basis”) every
rebellion “naturally” reverts to authoritarian, leader-led,
anti-autonomous modes of behaviour. Thus, a libertarian socialist
Revolution is impossible in SA under current and foreseeable internal
“politico-social” conditions.

Now, you might as well stop here. What more is there to say for a vanguard
that puts itself at the head of a revolution pre-emptively condemned to
abortion by its own leading theorist? What is there to say for a
self-professed anti-capitalist who believes the propaganda that capitalism,
conflated with human nature, ‘naturally’ renders all attempts at revolution
impossible? ...It’s precisely due to his ahistorical perspective that he adopts
this self-defeating determinism. The idea that unfavourable historical
tendencies can be strategically and practically subverted in the everyday
lives of the masses – masses of individuals who are no more or less
stupefied than their self-proclaimed vanguards, vanguards composed of those
who were once just as ‘unconscious’ as the masses but came to adopt
revolutionary positions in an “unnatural” historical process that might
equally embrace masses of individuals, and has done so before – such an
idea has clearly never occurred to this physically and intellectually
rigorous comrade.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the various reactionary aspects of
this guy have everything to do with a tunnel vision where the point of
reference is shifted from “the real movement” to a ‘revolutionary’
subculture/scene/organisation. It was as if the real problem were the
absence of black cadres in his groupscule rather than the fact that his
‘movement’ is not now nor ever has been even slightly significant to the
actually existing class struggle in this country. The international furore
produced by this entire scandal is equally symptomatic. The amount of
attention, emotion and verbiage expended on this non-event is exponentially
greater than the amount of interest displayed, judging from the written
evidence, towards the real developments fraught with possibility blossoming
in countless interesting actions among millions of people on the ground all
around the world. For all the condemnation of ‘substitutionism’ among
these supposedly ‘theoretically advanced’ people it is undeniable that idle
gossip and inconsequential scandal is today a substitute for anything
resembling intelligent and informed discussion and debate about real social
Just read ‘Anarchism as Spectacle’ and pleasantly surprised that somebody beat me to the punch saying this stuff, some of it, like the bit about gossip v. news of opposition...

- from here: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/latest-articles/

"In particular the identification with organising an Organisation, as opposed to organising specific activities, which made especially the members of Zabalaza keep their mouths shut. "
I'm sure this played a part but there are unspoken dynamics often at play in anti-organizationalist organizing that produce similar dynamics. In some cases it can be almost harder to identify since the group is under the guise of informality, non-hierarchical, temporary, etc.

I did say "a milieu can often act similarly to a political organisation". The real problem is that each individual forgets their own radical desires (ie desires that break with the normal hierarchical colonised forms and content of existing conservative desires) and think only terms of their need to "belong" to a scene, rather than risk possibly being ostracised by those who adhere to the scene. The various kinds of collectivity differ, but the desire to belong to a specific collectivity takes precedent over the desire to contribute to a global community of struggle, and in this way, individuals forget (or never even start from ) themselves , their own contradictions.

Thank you for clarifying. It would appear we agree on this point. ;)

It's sort of funny to see all the different anarchists who consider themselves X ideology falling over themselves to figure out who and what to blame. Of course the identity politicians would have hugged each other and had over 9000 meetings if BF was not praising "organizationalism" but instead advocating individualism. The sort-of anarchists who are actually liberals are going hard with some sort of "watch out for people who criticize identity politics" and that this type of thing must be very prevalent in the anarchist mileau.

This is not the first time this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. Cause you know, people. The ironic part is the identity politicians falling over themselves on this one. Totally ignoring how many of those types of people become right wingers, liberals, communists or are out of politics in 1 year. Like, if you are going to set up some false dynamic there you should take a look at how damaging identity focused people can be when they "go against anarchy" cause it happens a HELL of a lot more than a syndaclist becoming a white nationalist.

Or rather, just look at this thing as it should be, from a nuanced perspective where we learn and move on.


This is a weird one, for sure, but the saddest thing to me is how it's not THAT weird. Personally I know one ex-anarchist who is now with the men's right's movement, and one ex-green anarchist whose now basically an Islamophobic, technology-worshipping New Atheist. Those are the weird cases out of dozens of 100s of anarchists I have known over the last 2 decades, but unfortunately I can't speak that highly of so many others who have just turned into lame-brained liberals/progressive, OR identity-politics-policing-types, OR mush-headed new agers...unfortunately extreme people get attracted to extreme ideologies and some of them are fickle and unfortunately I'm afraid the way the world is going now more and more them are eventually going to get into wacky neo-nationalist ideologies...

The problem is that the whole world seems to be going towards different kinds of vigorous to violent hyper-differentiation and pitiful attempts at purity of various kinds...It used to be that there were a whole panoply of ideologies and ideas about how humanity would come to respect, tolerate (maybe even love) each other and live on the earth in peace and prosperity. Anarchism, communism, socialism, progressivism, liberalism even neoliberalism all were part of this -- in their rhetoric anyway, even if for many of those their practice was often something different, and awful. And arrayed against that was the counter-balancing force of conservativism, traditionalism, different forms of standing up for the old order.

Now it's another world -- not so much a place where a battle for a better world for all bucks up against an old prejudicial order, but rather a place where everybody thinks things are going to hell in a hand basket, and fast, but few are interested in how to do anything about that, while most people just want to figure out who to blame and how to punish them. The idea of fixing things and living together differently to avoid all this strife doesn't occur to anyone, or if it does, it doesn't have much sway. Instead everybody wants to censor or censure everyone else and force them to agree or act "right" according to diverse subjective viewpoints, and there's usually no carrot and only the stick of the police state behind that ("hate crimes" anyone?)...alternately more and more, esp. people from groups, like middle to lower class white Americans, whose privilege in the world order has recently eroded, seem to want to split off and have their own new pure thing based on their imagined idea of how some group of people used to live in the past.

So instead of vying visions of a better world for all, it's the war of each against each -- It's like humanity said, well, totalitarian communism didn't work, neoliberal capitalism didn't work, I guess we'd better just come up with a new way of looking at things that will facilitate us murdering as many of each other and as much of the biosphere as possible, and make life as miserable as possible along the way.

Fair enough I guess.

This Is what happens when a bohemian generation comes to an end. The 1968 frame of reference is gone just like the 1886 frame of reference before it.

For millenial age anarchists/anarchs it's imperative that we hold through the storm until the next bohemian generation comes along. I guessing it's gonna be in the 2048 time frame when radicals will have a new frame of reference.

are you saying there may be hope for Society, after all? we must ( that's like imperative, right?) hold through the storm until the the promised coming when the real revolution will surely occur ?
just focus on 2048 and the new frame . riiiiiiiight

Don't know where you get that in my post. I'm simply pointing out historical patterns and similarites and the need to make radical adjustments.

I don't count on revolutions or any messianic nonesense. I simply recognize that the more things change the more things stay the same.

You're the only thing that's gone out of History. History itself, for all that matter, is also gone for alienated/pedantic po-mo paedos like you. The self-inflating hot air ballon that is your mind requires the very same void as your alienation.

Yes neither 1886, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2008 has relevance, only your own date of birth, and your name, and address does.

...to us.

Imma be honest, i never heard of this guy before.

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