Alexander Reid Ross on the Far Right and the Hard Left

From The Final Straw Radio

This week, we have two portions to the show. First, we catch up with Mitch from Red Strings and Maroons podcast about some of what they saw at the A2 rally in Richmond on January 20th, about antifascist intervention and the effectiveness of intervening to call out white nationalists in gun advocacy spaces. More of their work available at RedStringsAndMaroons.com.

Then, we spend the remainder of the show speaking with Alexander Reid Ross. Alexander is a PhD candidate in Portland State University’s Earth, Environment, Society Program, a Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, and the author of “Against The Fascist Creep”, which you can get from AK Press or our affiliate Firestorm Books!

For the remainder of the episode we speak about conspiracy theories, how they wind their way into some leftist approaches to critique, bleed-over between left and right anti-establishment critiques and media that hold a pro-Kremlin position, the ideas of Alexander Dugin, ways of combating disinformation and some of it’s sources. More of his writings and interviews can be found at AlexanderReidRoss.net and this article that we reference a bit is called “Fooling The Nation: Extremism and the Pro-Russia Disinformation Ecosystem”.

There are 21 Comments

We should read Chomsky & Herman on how to read the news, is that the tldr?

I wonder, too, if ARR has read The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson? It is a bit dated but still holds up as prophylaxis for ever believing conspiracies at first glance. And it is funny.

What RAW was really great at showing was that you can't take a deep dive into the crazy world of conspiracy, statecraft, disinfo, cointel, etc., and cast your light of truth on What's Really Going On. It will eat you up, and you will emerge either agnostic, or, more likely, totally paranoid. ARR is a cautionary tale.

sounds a bit fashy to me!

Alexander Reid Ross *is* a conspiracy theorist.

"Alexander Reid Ross *is* a conspiracy theorist."

Yep!

"In a series of articles for the Southern Poverty Law Center last year, Ross attempted to bring his warmed-over Cold War theories to the broader public. He wound up trashing everyone from the co-author of this piece, Max Blumenthal, to Nation magazine publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel to Harvard University professor of international relations Stephen Walt as hidden shadow-fascists secretly controlled by the Kremlin. The articles ultimately generated an embarrassing scandal and a series of public retractions by the editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen."

"Potok was an executive editor at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which last year retracted every one of the crank articles that Alexander Reid Ross published with them and formally apologized for having run them."

"For some reason, the super-sleuth Ross conveniently failed to investigate the libertarian group, C4SS, that he has chosen to partner with and publish in. That ability to shamelessly smear and denounce leftists over the most crudely manufactured links to the far-right—while cozying up to groups as sleazy as C4SS and authoritarian as the Integrity Initiative —is the sort of adaptive trait that MI6 spies and the Rendon Group would find useful in a covert domestic influence operation.
Ross did not respond to our request for comment on his involvement with the Integrity Initiative and C4SS."

https://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=keith+preston+alexander+reid+ross&d=45...

what's so sleazy about c4ss?
oh, there's more than one meaning to that word...
so "sleazy" but not sleazy
anyways, that link you link looks fishy as hell

i did not know. how unfortunate. freedom of disassociation indeed

"There’s more: Spangler’s understudy and deputy in the C4SS, Kevin Carson — currently listed as the group’s “Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory” — turned out to be a longtime friend and defender of white nationalist Keith Preston."

Thus in true ARR form, the guilt by association (the ARR shuffle?) ironically works against him as well.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/10/covert-british-military-smear-mach...

Yeah, ARR comes off as abrasive in this interview. He keeps doing this standard appeal to uncertainty and skepticism of narratives but can't seem to be consistent about it himself? i.e.. There's a hilariously fundamental problem with pathologizing the "special knowledge in-group" ego trip when talking about conspiracy theory: what about when they actually DO have a paradigm shifting insight? Doesn't this apply to most anarchists? Are all of them just sniffing their own farts when they critique power? Flat earthers think they're special too. Maybe this is a useless observation about radical thought that just sounds clever?

Seems more like he's interested in maligning certain positions.

actually, SOT, the only thing he's interested in is maligning certain positions. he's a polemicist rather than a critical analyst, a ranter rather than an explainer. he's a self-parody, a fanatic and fantasist who sees the fash everywhere. in the capitalist west during the cold war, it was reds under the beds; ARR's imagination has fash under the dash...

heh! maybe so, maybe so. this is the first time I've listened to him at length and wasn't impressed.

Previously I could neither read nor listen to him at length due to the frustration and anger it all induced. But now that the post-left and other such kindred spirits are cancelled out of various @ book-fair events, it is that very same feeling which drove me to want listen and research this guy a bit more in depth.

If this is the best critic the sectarians can find to indict PL @'s then it is more than just a little ironic that he recently auditioned before The State – the most jackbooted element of it, all before the event sponsors (the Integrity Initiative) were (apparently) exposed as a military-intelligence front operation. Or perhaps someone can point to better contradictory information about this.

ARR's Russia-gate conspiracy endorsement points away from anarchism and toward electoral politics, as if to signal the validity of democratic party narratives.

You seem to have no fucking clue about the Surkov doctrine and the related pushes to break Western liberal democracies apart.

This will not be to the benefit of more freedom but rather of a new dark age, consisting of a myriad of fascist regimes ruled by dictators like Kadyrov and Duterte. If liberal democracy was failed, this new-old vision of the State will be your grave.

IF liberal democracy was failed?! Cute...

Anyway, for the sake of fairness, I did like the little quip about the french and voting for whichever neoliberal stooge of finance you think is less likely to order mass killings in the streets? Still wouldn't vote if you paid me but that's a funny take!

When was the last time the EU has asked the French to vote on anything? Or let's say "your" own government?

The reason why I'm against voting ain't merely because "all of them statists SUCK, anyway, fuck that, lol" but because voting as it is just a fucking joke. A quarter of me almost liked UKIP saying bye bye to the Eurocrats, but then again we all know this is just pro hockey on the tube.

It's not a system that gives but takes power; where one has the power, and the other does not. Likely you too are in the last category. Voting is alienation. Now I don't care with this whole democracy imperative... as democracy, too, is a farce and always was. Just as the same old logic of "taking power", which is very consistent with liberal democracy.

I'm for breaking power, so that it not "diffuses equally", but dissolves so that people can realize how meaningless that is. That you don't need power to do shit, you only need to get strong enough. Eat well... do exercise... educate yourself... study things around... then you can make it.

Those of you that still support property and related capital (through legally buying properties, making yourselves careers, all the while claiming to be about this weird thing called "anarchy", are apparently not getting this.
When was the last time the EU has asked the French to vote on anything? Or let's say "your" own government?

The reason why I'm against voting ain't merely because "all of them statists SUCK, anyway, fuck that, lol" but because voting as it is just a fucking joke. A quarter of me almost liked UKIP saying bye bye to the Eurocrats, but then again we all know this is just pro hockey on the tube.

It's not a system that gives but takes power; where one has the power, and the other does not. Likely you too are in the last category. Voting is alienation. Now I don't care with this whole democracy imperative... as democracy, too, is a farce and always was. Just as the same old logic of "taking power", which is very consistent with liberal democracy.

I'm for breaking power, so that it not "diffuses equally", but dissolves so that people can realize how meaningless that is. That you don't need power to do shit, you only need to get strong enough. Eat well... do exercise... educate yourself... study things around... then you can make it.

Those of you that still support property and related capital (through legally buying properties, making yourselves careers, all the while claiming to be about this weird thing called "anarchy", are apparently not getting this.

As always, one person's attitude in regards to power will always be the most revealing of what they're really about.
As always, one person's attitude in regards to power will always be the most revealing of what they're really about.

voting or not is irrelevant to those in charge. Opposing the vote doesn't mean anything to their system, and neither has any significant effect. Parties still can get elected even if 95% of people don't vote. So I ain't advocating for voting, no... just acknowledging that abstention equally does Jack Shit.

You don't get positive outcomes by adding a negative to negatives.

"For some reason, the super-sleuth Ross conveniently failed to investigate the libertarian group, C4SS, that he has chosen to partner with and publish in."

Kevin Carson, Research Associate at C4SS only disowned Keith Preston in 2009, shortly before Preston helped white nationalist leader Richard Spencer launch his alt-right webzine, Alternative Right.

https://web.archive.org/web/20100305112840/http:/c4ss.org/about-the-center

https://twitter.com/exiledonline/status/687142658964369408

Maybe the final straw should do a podcast debunking these claims, or otherwise distance themselves from these seemingly nefarious associations.

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