One thesis suggests that fascism far from always being a "right wing" ideology is in fact a "left wing heresy", born of a synthesis of nationalism and anarcho-syndicalism. Fascism was potentially a dynamic revolutionary theory but its autonomous radical element was soon hijacked by the forces of reactionary conservatism and ultimately co-opted by capitalism. Classical fascism then became an ideology of Oppression, highly centralised statism, authoritarian, militaristic, whose whole ultimate vision was one of the totalitarian society personified in the cult of the charismatic leader or ruthless dictator. Starting from a dialectical approach to history similar to Marx and Proudhon, fascism had an initial worldview or thesis of left-wing syndicalism, which in turn generated its opposite antithesis: right-wing nationalism. This subsequently provided the philosophical inspiration for a synthesis: national syndicalism or socialism, envisaging ultimately to transcend the class war between capital and labour, the result being the corporatist state. Fascism then is essentially a particular style of government and a political and social theory that is the complete antithesis of what is being discussed in this article, for if fascist ideology always includes "nationalism" in its doctrine it does not follow therefore that all "nationalists" are "proto-fascist". Nationalism can be interpreted as essentially an anti-statist worldview and "patriotism" as a folk consciousness that values one's organic identity and ethnic autonomy over and against the national state.
Proudhon and Tolkien
Nationalism then, of which historically there can be said to have been two classical manifestations, the "Cultural" and the "Statist", can be re-invented as "folk autonomy" and "nationalist" as "folk autonomist". Thus from the anarchist tradition the liberation Socialist Gustav Landaver can say: "national differentiation is a thing of prime significance for the coming realisation of humanity, for those who separate the beautiful, thriving, peaceful fact of the nation from the ugly violence of the state."
What we have here then is a vision of anarchism, that is based in an indigenous folkism and a rooted radicalism in opposition to the cosmopolitanism and abstract inter-nationalism of the traditional left. All nations have the right to their sovereignty and self-determination and this can have profound liberation implications that don't have to mean falling into the arms of whole fascist organisations and individuals, who advocate a reactionary package of chauvinistic nationalism and right wing authoritarianism. This is "anarcho-nationalism", the liberating socialist "third" position - anti-statist, popularist, green and decentralist.
It's time for the broad anarchist movement to leave leftism and workerism behind and go back to the father of anarchism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who attempted in his political and social theory to forge a creative synthesis between left and right. Proudhon laid great stress on the regionalist and ethical reality rather than the artificial borders of the great national states; his economics attempted to reconcile both of the competitive and co-operative aspirations of humanity in a natural society based on free association and popularism. He totally rejected the liberal concept of parliamentary democracy as a sham and "universal suffrage as the counter revolution". Philosophically speaking anarchism has a strong anti-democratic tradition - far from seeing anarchism as being democracy carried to its logical conclusion, it can be seen as "aristocracy universalised".
In fact even "monarchy" as a concept can be re-claimed and reinvented to serve anarchist ends if one can see in the monarch a symbol of sovereignty reflected in the absolute sovereignty of the free individual. J. R. Tolkien, author of "Lord of the Rings", once spoke of his political viewpoint as being a synthesis of anarchism and "unconstitutional monarchy." This anarcho-monarchism can also be expressed in the distinctively English tradition of the "Albion mythos" and the return of King Arthur as portrayed in the brilliant book "Camelot and the Vision of Albion" by the British mythologist Geoffrey Ashe.
Revolt against the mono-culture
In a world that is appearing to celebrate the new millennium as "the end of history", a new voice of opposition is needed that is anti-ideological in the sense of rejecting political fundamentalism and party line dogmatism but is rooted in an ethnic spirit, an historical identity in complete revolt against the one world monoculture of globalisation, and the liberal-capitalist free market. In a world of no borders, of anarcho-monetarism where only money as commodity is free (where money should be merely a means of exchange not a means of speculation or usury) then even the traditional conservative nation state is made redundant by the trans-national corporations and the deregulated schemes of international bankerdom. The new world order is not going to be challenged by the traditional left but by a decentralist nationalism, for it is only nationalism that can provide an identity that can challenge the collective identity of the mass consumer society - the consumer tribes and brand loyalties of various pre-packaged "identities" such as those provided by football teams, rock bands, fashion and sex etc.
It is tragic in this context that the "Wandervögel" German youth movement was soon hijacked and perverted into the Hitler Youth and made a focus for party recruitment and indoctrination. The Wandervögel in their original purity were an attempt at providing a sense of "communal individuality" against the extremes of social alienation as expressed through both extreme individualism and collectivism.
Also, an awareness of one's "blood and soil" does not have to carry fascistic overtones of racism and ethnic supremacy and separatism. "Culture" in this context and "identity" isn't totally a static thing but a dynamic force in social relationships capable of being open and enriched by the contributions of other and different ethnic cultures and identities - although it must be said that mass immigration and multi-culturalism is a by-product of an internationalist capitalist economics, that causes the poor periphery to chase the wealth at the affluent core. This does not mean advocating "repatriation" and falling into the hands of racists and fascists with a purist view of English identity and culture, but it does mean offering a critique of the liberal melting pot theory of society.
Maybe it's time for the black flag of anarchy to march alongside the flags of the European peoples, to fight the European federal superstate with the poetical vision of a decentralised Europe of a hundred flags - in opposition to globalisation and the trend towards one world government. Maybe it's time for a vision of "Britain" as a family of free nations: England, Scotland, Wales, Eire, Isle of Man, Ulster, Cornwall etc; a Britain of independent regions in contrast to the centralised Westminster unionism that has its historical origin in the Norman yoke.
Ultimately of course human identities go beyond merely reductionist considerations of nation and race. From the individual to the family, to the community to the region, to the nation and the race to the whole of humanity and creation - each of these identities, autonomies and entities must be treated as an integral and necessary part of a fully human and healthy society - that is national freedom and social justice, that is world peace, that is anarcho-nationalism!
Wayne John Sturgeon, 1/7/1999