Nationalist Alternative Manifesto 2

On December 8, 2008, in Manifesto, by admin

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NATIONALIST ALTERNATIVE MANIFESTO PART II

by Steve Wood

1. Introduction: Nationalist Alternative tactics

This section of the Nationalist Alternative Manifesto shall examine the question of political tactics – that is, how to go about achieving one’s political goals. Ultimately, the goal of all politics is the gaining of power. Power for nationalists is the ability of a people to exercise self determination on all levels, complete unhindered independence including the right and ability to defend and maintain it. This may occur through democratic elections, through civil war, through a revolutionary uprising, through peaceful separatist aspirations, through a coup d’état…

Politics comes without a manual, without a set procedure. One has to discover how politics works – how one goes about getting, and keeping, power – through practice, through trial and error, and through the study of the past. We need to learn from mistakes made in that past and move forward, in a positive and determined manner.

Here we shall be studying some of the techniques of Communist organisation – in particular, democratic centralism. (It should go without saying that Nationalist Alternative is not endorsing Communism, Bolshevism, of any kind, and actively opposes it. If anything, we are an Anti-Communist group as much as we are an Anti-Globalist group and therefore against any Imperialistic ideology).

Now, isn’t Communism dead and buried, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the turn away from socialism by China after 1979? Yes and no: certainly, Marx’s theory of history, which is at the core of Communist ideology, has been disproved. But, on the level of street politics, the Communist groups are very much alive. (One could point out that, electorally, Communists are still successful in some countries: Communists have won office, through elections, in countries such as Nepal and Rumania. But it is examples pertinent to Australia which shall concern us here). The anti-globalist and anti-capitalist street movements are dominated by the Communists; and the two main Communist factions in Australia, Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative, dwarf Australian nationalist groups in terms of size, organisation, funds and in sheer street power.

Finally, the Communist groups in Australia constitute a radical extra-parliamentary opposition, which is something many Australian nationalists aspire to. And, like Australian nationalists, they have been, and continue to, suffer persecution and harassment at the hands of the liberal democratic state, and, moreover, have done a good job of surviving.

These are the reasons why the Communist example is worthy of study and emulation.

2. Democratic Centralism

Lenin, in his classic, “What is to be done” (1902), outlined the key tenets of democratic centralism. I shall list some of them here:

a) A party must develop an ideological position through vigorous debate, adopt it through a binding vote, and then stick to it, through thick and thin. In a congress held over a number of days, the membership of a political party (or rather, the delegates sent to the congress to represent the membership) debate amongst themselves and adopt a constitution, a program (which sketches out the aims of the group over the long-term) and a resolution (which considers political developments in the recent past and prospects for the near future). In future congresses, constitutions and programs are amended by votes from the delegates – paragraphs are struck out, new ones added – and new resolutions adopted.

After that, the membership agrees to abide by the program and resolution, when representing the party’s position to non-members. ‘We believe that…’. The membership does this even if an individual member does not agree with it. (This is a common enough phenomenon in mainstream, liberal democratic political parties: the MP in the Labor or Liberal Party has to support the position adopted by the party membership at the time, even if he does not agree with it, and refrain from criticising it in the public eye).

b) Only paid-up, card-carrying members are truly members. Often, in politics, a member of a political group falls into the habit of saying such-and-such a group of people are ‘with us’, are ‘part of our organisation’. At the time Lenin wrote “What is to be done”, Russian socialists were inclined to view certain factory workers and trade unionists they had encountered as ‘members’ – simply because a Russian socialist activist had handed out a pamphlet to that factory worker (who had some good words to say about it), or had managed to get that worker to come to one or two meetings. Lenin took the view, through, that the real test of one’s conviction was membership: was the factory worker, trade unionist, intellectual, willing to join the party, take out a party membership card, abide by the party rules (as outlined in the constitution) and pay dues – promptly, and in full? If not, that worker could be regarded as a sympathiser, perhaps even a supporter – but not a member. Only a party member is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

c) Conducting of meetings in an efficient, orderly way. Most formal organisations – whether they be bowling clubs, corporations, Rotary clubs, town councils, political parties – conduct their meetings according to a set procedure. That procedure is formally known as ‘parliamentary procedure’ (even the meetings are not, of course, held in parliament). These rules may specify that meetings must have a chairperson, a secretary, minutes, an agenda, a set hierarchy for certain motions (e.g., a motion to adjourn a meeting, to debate a certain position, to bring up an item of unfinished business from the last meeting, etc.). The set of rules known as ‘Robert’s rules’ is the most famous, and well-used, parliamentary procedure.

The rationale for this is as follows. Politics is time-consuming business, and consists mainly of chores undertaken to support the functioning of the political organisation, such as fund raising, the creation and distribution of literature and work into obtaining and maintaining facilities. In order to prevent a meeting from degenerating into a purely social event, one has to organise – take care of the chores and get them out of the way as quickly as possible. Which is why Lenin stressed formal organisation. While holding a meeting with minutes, a secretary, a chairperson, is dull, it is the only way of organising large numbers of people and get those chores done in a reasonable amount of time so that most of the efforts are directed to actual beneficial activities. Conducting meetings in a formalised and structured manner are necessary step in ensuring that items which require discussion and analysis are addressed thoroughly and timely. A successful political organisation will find the right balance between the formalised organisation necessary to make effective use of available resources, and the flexibility necessary to change where necessary and take into account changing and extenuating circumstances.

On top of that, formal meetings are democratic: each of the members has an opportunity to speak freely. Records of meetings (in the minutes) help work out what was decided at a past meeting, what actions, future events or positions of ideology or organisational arrangement were agreed upon, thereby avoiding time wasting disagreements in the future.

This ensures accountability in individuals who can be honestly measured post agreement on what actions they take that have differed from what the group decided upon. This further prevents individuals who may carry a particular critical skill or possession of a critical piece of infrastructure like ‘the website’ from simply flouting the group decision and acting inline with their own wishes. This has occurred numerous times in groups that prefer next to no organisation. That is why it is very important to try and work together as a team for the greater good of the group.

Minutes or the like, are especially helpful when particularly bitter individuals who came out on the minority side of a group vote on a controversial topic want to continue the arguing over and over again. Further, it should be obvious to the reader, when considering our arguments for at least ‘some’ formal organisation, that troublemakers or plants much prefer a cloudy working environment where nothing is ever ‘locked in’ – in terms of positions on ideology, how recruits are vetted, procedures, public image to be adopted at a particular event etc. Such lack of clear and sometimes explicit agreement and rules is exactly what troublemakers require to undermine the entire organisation’s efforts.

Clarity and accountability are especially important in regards to the question of handling money – which is probably the greatest potential source of dissension and conflict in an organisation. This is why there must always be total transparency in relation to money matters and there also needs to be strict rules and procedures that need to be adhered to.

The exact nature and level of detail in said minutes will of course be determined by the group concerned and security issues around personally identifiable information. Security and privacy should always be a priority and group members need to be selected to handle those aspects for the group. Those selected for security roles must obviously be trustworthy and constantly vigilant to any threats that may occur.

d) An organisation needs a formal structure. Not only do meetings need to be structured formally, so does the organisation itself. The smallest unit of organisation in a Communist party is a cell, which is made up three people, in a trade union, university, professional association or whatever. Then comes the party branch, then the district organisation, then the equivalent of a state and federal organisation. The district, state and federal organisations have their congresses every few years, when they adopt resolutions and make amendments to the constitution and party program; the branches and cells meet more regularly. As in a liberal democratic party, the rank-and-file membership elects delegates to the district, state and party conferences. So the structure of a Communist party is, in its way, genuinely democratic.

(For a small, fledgling organisation, the act of setting up organisations at the district, state and federal level seems presumptuous, grandiose. But one has to start somewhere. At the first Bolshevik party conference, nine delegates showed up, and a central committee of five was elected. Those five were arrested the next month by the Russian secret police).

3. How nationalists can apply Democratic Centralism

These are the tenets of democratic centralism. At the time, critics of Lenin accused him of being too authoritarian and bureaucratic, too obsessed by control. But Lenin was contesting the notion that revolutions are spontaneous and happen by themselves, without conscious direction, or organisation, from political activists. The two main ‘spontaneous’ groups were the anarchists, of course, and (surprisingly enough) certain of the Marxists, who happened to believe that revolution, the overthrow of capitalism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat was inevitable, and so not much needed to be done.

Marxists are still debating whether or not Lenin was right. The point is, though, the same criticisms Lenin made of Russian socialism could be made of nationalism in Australia today. There is too much disorganisation, too little activism directed towards a particular political goal or in fact any goals (social, financial, organisational objectives), too little agreement on what those political goals should be, and too much of a feeling that ‘being nationalist’, ‘being racialist’ and just gracing internet forums and pub meets only (pure socialisers) suffices – one does not have to join a political organisation devoted to actual politics.

A partial remedy is to adopt a version of Lenin’s democratic centralism and apply the four points listed above to nationalist organisation and practice. That way, nationalists shall deploy themselves with professionalism and most importantly purpose. Not only of the Communist groups, but the mainstream political parties (such as Liberal and Labour) as well.

The application of democratic centralism is, in fact, a simple procedure: meetings among branches need to be held regularly, and conducted according to Robert’s rules (of which a good summary can be found in the book “Robert’s rules for dummies”). Because branch meeting are small, one can adapt these guidelines and rules to ones own situation). A constitution can be written up fairly quickly by simply adapting the constitution of existing political organisations. The core tenants of the members can be incorporated, and safeguards put in place to ensure the foundation stones for the groups creation can never be removed. A small, even paltry, monthly membership fee needs to be charged to those who wish to move from Nationalist Alternative supporters to members, simply because people value what they pay for and consider it an investment in their personal, family and unborn offspring’s future by way of enabling the range of activities and capabilities of an organisation dedicated to such goals. And, finally, recruitment needs to be done on a ‘quality, not quantity’ basis. Building a core of competent and capable activists across the working, small business, middle and ‘professional ‘classes’, with skill-sets that can be leveraged towards organisational goals, is imperative.

Furthermore, one can start building a movement – a parallel society where any one individual can go for his needs, personal, economic, educational, social or otherwise is achieved by networks of capable skilled people, not hordes of drunken thugs. As a means of giving people incentive to join something they may put considerable time and effort into, such practices help provide clarity. It is a given that people naturally contribute to activities they feel are worthy pursuits. If their heart is not in it they will eventually leave. No amount of glossy coverings, charismatic individuals or constantly repeated slogans alone will keep them despite an initial honeymoon period.

Communism, historically, has always recognised that a committed member, of good quality, is worth twenty or thirty uncommitted members: the good member will turn up to every demo, every meeting, etc., and so small but determined group of activists will have an effect out of proportion to their numbers.

Finally, there is ideological purity. Nationalism is not a political movement driven by constructed ideologies, but rather a political movement which recognises innate human needs, desires: unlike other political ideologies, which are based on the intellectual constructions and seek to dogmatically follow words, nationalism is based upon observation and recognition of the nature of humanity. All the same, a nationalist group has to maintain a democratically set party line less it simply becomes a friction ridden mess with no direction, much like today’s multicultural society. Amongst nationalists, debates can occur as to what the composition of a nation is, and the relationship and importance of culture, ethnicity and religion to a nation. For instance, in the Netherlands some Dutch nationalists may agree that Muslim immigrants who will not, for various reasons assimilate are not suitable candidates for future immigration, but may disagree on whether relatively more assimilable Chinese immigrants make suitable immigration candidates.

If such an ideological dispute is allowed to fester, the organisation may break into two: which is why the party leadership must give a firm ruling from the start, and make sure that members comply to that ruling. (The point comes when members who continue to disagree with that ruling, and go out of their way to tear down the party by publishing criticisms of the ruling on the Internet, have to be disciplined or expelled, or of course people can choose to depart in the same way they joined – voluntarily). This is all unfortunate, and the nationalist activist hopes that such disputes do not occur within his organisation. But disputes like that will crop up, and so the organisation must have the mechanisms (as outlined in its constitutions) for resolving them.

Then there is the problem of entryism. Most people associate entryism with Communism, particularly Trotskyism, which historically has relied on the tactic. But entryism occurs within nationalist circles as well. According to rumour, activists from the National Party (an agrarian socialist party) infiltrated One Nation in the 1990s, with the intention of wrecking it from within. A purge of the infiltrators would have solved the problem. This is not Stalinist paranoia: it is reality. A party has to struggle to survive, and often politics is the survival of the fittest. The better organised groups (like the National Party) overpower, and eventually destroy, the lesser organised (like One Nation).

We would add that conviction in the rightness of a nationalist ideology is measured by the passage of time and association, whereby the interested individual has participated in various events and by their having undergone some reading on the organisation’s viewpoints and structure. Also, they have demonstrated behaviour consistent with an agreement with said viewpoints and structure.

For instance merely the upfront providing by a member of, say, a ready supply of cash and face value enthusiasm on its own is not enough. A genuine commitment free of hidden agendas, whether for their own ego or to further the plans of another group, is what is required. This is not only to avoid the possibility of state based penetration. Many an organisation or group in Australia has been twisted, thwarted, led down time wasting directions or simply been grabbed hold of by ego-led men purportedly from the same movement. Entryism by such people or persons, to either cause an organisation to fold or become absorbed into another entity, may be for money or quite often simply to forward their individualist sense of ‘pride’ and power measured through metrics like ‘how many members my group has versus yours’, ‘to prove their ideology is superior’ or to ‘to prove their method of organising is superior’. Such individuals always reveal themselves over time, even if only by small slip-ups in speech here and there. Such people should be exposed and kicked out of a strong, self-respecting political organisation, regardless of money input, pseudo-enthusiasm and participation in many events which seemingly made them an ideal member.

4. Movement and Party OR Movement versus Party

It is often said, in nationalist politics, that ‘We need a movement, not a party’ – that, in other words, we need to do what the NPD and the BNP are doing, which is grassroots activism, community activism, community building, and that sort of thing. The proponents of ‘movement-ism’ seem to be basing their thinking on a New Left-ish understanding of politics – that is, that politics is the work of the masses, of the people, of special-interest and pressure groups, who go out and form mass-based, loose, spontaneous organisations (which are not really organisations, but clusters of people) that go out and engage in grass-roots activism. Others take the contrary view, seeming to state that ‘We need a party not a movement’ or ‘The party (as in politically registered one to contest elections) builds the movement’.

The truth is that both approaches are needed. For some people, reading press releases, platforms and hearing speeches output by a party may be enough to inspire them to at least register with your group and vote for you every three to four years. These people are excited by visions, concepts and plans for the future that have not yet (at least on the grand scale) been implemented. They identify because the party’s visions and concepts, which to them are put forward encapsulate their own opinions, values , dreams and hopes. They feel empowered, a voice has been given to their values and opinions, which previously had been absent from liberal politically correct discourse. Then there are those for whom seemingly abstract debates mean little and who start to identify with your group only when they see concrete evidence that your extra parliamentary work , support networks and activities are representing and directly aiding them, and the interests of their community and families.

Community projects of the kind the NPD and the BNP engage – helping the elderly carry their shopping, cleaning up graffiti and so on – are excellent propaganda, which also benefits the party; they are ‘propaganda of the deed’. They show the indigenous German and British communities that the NPD and the BNP are people who genuinely are concerned about the communities they live in. And the community pays those parties back – by voting for them at election time, because the positive word of mouth about the political organisation has circulated through the community, cutting through the negative image presented by the media. In turn, the hard won political representation is used to enact legislation which further enables the community to proper and foster its identity and survival and to repeal harmful legislation that hinders and disadvantages its work.

It is not for us to say whether it is a movement or political party that comes first, in fact a lot of social research merely raises the point that ‘discontent’ of some sort exists (comes first) amongst individuals or a population and that then leads to actions to attempt to correct the real or perceived injustice. So people who form parties or movements are acting from the same source but choosing different organisational methods to achieve it.

Social movement entrepreneurs, think tanks and protest organizations are the catalysts which transform collective discontent into social movements; social movement organizations form the backbone of social movements. Nationalist Alternative seeks to be such a catalyst, a vanguard organisation for the Australian nation (people) both in activism and in intellectualism (Think-Tank) and hence part of the ‘nationalist’ movement. In an attempt to further professionalism and goal driven purpose it is constituted like a political party but is not a ‘party’. Once the formal structure akin to a political party is in place, the organisation for community projects can get underway. After all, community projects requires discipline and co-operation – and a political party-like organisation confers an almost military-type discipline upon its members. Hence, the ‘party’ works together to help create the ‘movement’. Assuming conditions of discontent (always present in the unjust liberal democracy), a think-tank (or plural) provides the ‘spark’ of solutions/critique/deconstruction that illuminates possible pathways to solving the issues at hand. The associated (or not) organisations, informal networks and/or party are the ‘seeding’ vehicles to help the greater nationalist movement to grow. Together they are the roots of the plant, and the movement and party both grow together as the plant becomes a sapling and grows taller and then sprouts branches and leaves.

It is our belief that a broad three-pillar strategy encompassing the below is an effective combination to proceed with.

  • Struggle for the ‘street’: extra parliamentary action, grassroots community work that engenders a positive image, local issues, working ‘outside’ the liberal democratic state;
  • Struggle for the ‘mind’, acting as a ‘Think-Tank’: insightful cutting articles, and the dissemination of material in any form that de-institutionalizes and breaks the chains of existing liberal/Marxist/Imperialist/Neocon/universalist beliefs, norms, and values, and establish new forms that spearhead nationalist, particularist and ethnic identity;
  • Struggle for the ‘parliament’: an eventual participation (once progress in the previous two areas has been achieved) in elections and the current political process in order to leverage the effectiveness of the first two elements and struggle for self determination.

Finally if we are serious about a sustainable future for European and the Australian people, we must continuously and objectively critique and compare our various methods, ideology, organising arrangements, goals (or lack of), behaviour, relations with fellow groups, public image and everything we project to the public.

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