I Did NOT Call For An Alliance With White Nationalists, You Fucking Idiots

I’m just going to be weak, messy, angry, hurt and exhausted in this article, if that’s okay with you. I can only ever write from where I’m at, and right now I’m a sloppy mess. They can’t all be winners.

I resent that I have to write this. I really shouldn’t have to. I have so many cool ideas, but this bullshit is sapping all my spirit and creativity. I can’t let people go around calling me a secret white nationalist (for real, that’s what they’re saying now); I have to defend myself from that bullshit. I respect my worth enough to do this.

I had hoped Left Twitter would be done with its fact-free feeding frenzy by now, but it’s been going on for weeks and it’s only getting worse. Yesterday a bunch of high-profile online pundits with the little blue check marks next to their names joined in the fray and took it upon themselves to warn their massive online followings of a secret alt-right “counterinsurgency” on the left, from the notoriously fact-challenged Ben Norton to RT’s Alex Rubenstein to lying smear artist shill Marcus H. Johnson to the insufferable Neera Tanden.

Since this is only going to get more and more dramatic as long as these people are able to sustain this frantic narrative, let me make one final attempt at being absolutely clear about this: I have never, at any time, advocated an alliance, alignment, or compromise of any kind with the alt-right. You fucking idiots.

What I have called for is for the political left to stop being so damn resistant toward collaborating across ideological lines on specific goals that they have in common with us. That doesn’t mean we’re “allies”, that doesn’t mean we’re “aligned” with them, it doesn’t mean we compromise on any issues whatsoever, and it sure as fuck doesn’t mean joining the Republican party; it simply means that where our interests converge, we help each other out, whether that’s working toward military non-interventionism, ending the drug war, government transparency, electoral integrity, money out of politics or whatever. For me my focus is on winning the media war against the establishment propaganda machine, so I wrote about that.

Now about this “alt-right” nonsense.

I just showed you a bunch of tweets featuring Mike Cernovich saying unequivocally that he is not alt-right. I have said what feels like millions of times that I am not advocating an alliance with the alt-right. In order to believe that I am part of a secret alt-right “counterinsurgency”, you would have to believe that (A) Mike Cernovich is secretly a white nationalist posing as a trollish Trump supporter, and (B) I also am secretly a white nationalist, posing as a feminist socialist, and (C) we are both part of a secret white nationalist conspiracy to dupe the left into consenting to the creation of a white ethnostate.

And people call me a conspiracy theorist?

“The problem, I suppose, is that the definition of alt-right was kind of very unsettled. I think now it’s much more settled, and the group of people that are now accurately described as the alt-right are pretty small.”
~ Angela Nagle, author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

Mike Cernovich is not alt-right. No one on the alt-right thinks he’s alt-right. No internet-literate Trump supporter under fifty thinks he’s alt-right, because they understand those distinctions. The only people who say he’s alt-right are people with an agenda and people who are confused about the developments on that end of the political spectrum over the last few years. As Angela Nagle says in the above interview (which is definitely worth watching in its entirety when you have time), it took a while for that label to really congeal into the specific understanding of its definition that it currently has on the right — namely white nationalism, an ideology pushing for an all-white ethnostate. As soon as that definition became clear, Cernovich began denouncing the label. The Anti-Defamation league, seldom shy about using the label of white supremacy, describes him as “a right-wing provocateur who promotes conspiracy theories online,” clearly distinct from the alt-right.

Do you know who is a member of the alt-right? Richard Spencer of “punch Nazis” fame — the man who coined that term. Spencer is a white nationalist, and he is the man I explicitly cited as someone I wasn’t comfortable collaborating with in the original article I wrote that started all this controversy in the first place. Here is a screenshot:

Here’s a link to an archive of this article that one of my online stalkers made two weeks ago, just in case you paranoid “Secret Nazi Counterinsurgency” conspiracy theorists claim that I edited that part in (and I’m saying this because some of them have indeed claimed this).

There’s a guy called Hard Bastard who understands these important distinctions far better than any lefty I’ve yet encountered, probably because he’s not a lefty. I strongly encourage you to take a look at the following video if you’re even remotely interested in understanding just how far off the mark the Caitlin Johnstone hate brigade has been this whole time:

I’m writing about Cernovich because I used him as an example in my article as someone I wouldn’t mind collaborating with in some ways in the media war. From that archive again:

Throughout the entire article, including the mother fucking title, I use the phrase “anti-establishment right”, not “alt-right”. These are two very different terms; alt-right means white nationalists, anti-establishment right means any right-leaning opposition to the neoliberal neoconservative Dempublican one-party system and the propaganda machine that holds it together. Libertarians, ancaps, paleocons, right-leaning independents, any of the various factions of Trump’s base that fall outside both the Fox News demographic and the alt-right; any of these could be labeled “alt-right” by someone determined to conflate them with white supremacists, but this would be deceitful and wrong. Calling someone alt-right just because they voted for Trump or have a Pepe avatar is as inaccurate as saying “alt-left”; it’s a label that’s being used to smear people who don’t support the status quo.

Is Cernovich a conspiracy theorist? Sure, but I’ve been called that too. Is Cernovich unusually racist? Not if you’re familiar with the rest of his output and with the racism lurking just beneath the surface of all American culture. Has Cernovich said some disgusting things on Twitter over the years? Yes, certainly; some respected journalists on the left whose work I cite frequently have said and done far worse, and Cernovich has said his inflammatory comments have been his way of making a name for himself by surfing the wave of outrage culture. Is Cernovich someone I’d choose to hang out with in my spare time? Probably not. Is Cernovich an alt-right neo-Nazi? No, you fucking idiot.

I picked Cernovich as an example not because he’d recently retweeted me (the guy’s been occasionally sharing my stuff for months) but because when you’re trying to break taboos, you can’t low-ball. I picked the most far-out example I could reasonably work with on the specific issue of the media war, and as a feminist and rape survivor he wasn’t exactly an easy one in light of some of the comments he’s made. But it’s important that we begin forming coalitions along issues of convergence against the oligarchy that’s pushing us toward escalations with a nuclear superpower, and so far lefties have been highly resistive to that. I’m glad I seem to have forced that conversation to finally start happening to some extent.

Don’t want to work with Cernovich on anything? Fine; I never once said anyone ought to, and anyone who says I did is lying. I explicitly said in my article that people can trust their own personal limits and distinctions; I simply described where my own were. I’m glad that some people from his audience are exploring my ideas, because my ideas are good. That’s cross-ideological collaboration. That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about; most lefties would hold up a big “no” to that and deprive everyone in Cernovich’s audience of their perspective. I don’t, and I insist that that’s a good thing.

And that is it, my friends! That’s the whole entire thing! A lefty blogger wrote that she didn’t mind some social media overlap with an offensive right-winger. That’s what all this constant, relentless, exhausting catastrophizing week after motherfucking week has been about. That’s what these people have been writing article after article after article after article after motherfucking article about. I said that I personally am okay with some Cernovich retweets. Is this really worth this non-stop obsession? Really?

I’ve been explaining this stuff for weeks all over the place, in interviews, in articles, in tweets, but these people are determined not to hear me. And now, after weeks of lying about me, after weeks of pushing their “Caitlin wants the left to align with the alt-right” narrative as far into public attention as possible, the centrists pick up their fake, deceitful story, and that’s my fault.

“Caitlin,” they tell me. “You’ve given ammunition to the centrists! Now they’re saying everyone to the left of Rachel Maddow is a white nationalist!”

I didn’t do that, asshole. You did.

You did this. You pernicious, lying, brigading pack hunters created this. Jeffrey St Clair, CounterPunch, Ben Dixon, Progressive Army and all your little sycophants who got swept up in your obnoxious lies instead of listening to what I was actually saying made this happen. This is what happens when you lie and lie and lie and lie about someone and shove it as far into the mainstream as you can; your lies go mainstream. Duh.

But let me also just say, fuck the centrists. Fuck Neera fucking Tanden. You can tell her I said that. Please do tell her I said that. I would love to have Neera Tanden come after me. These vile neocons are the enemy. They’re the ones destroying our ecosystem with neoliberalism and marching us toward a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies with neoconservatism. Centrists are violent, omnicidal extremists who only get to call themselves “center” because they’ve amassed so much power they’ve been able to manufacture the status quo.

Centrists hate progressives. Centrists hate leftists. Their entire game is built around sabotaging us at every turn, it depends upon sabotaging us at every turn. If I’ve escalated the tensions between centrists and the left by calling for cross-ideological collaboration, good. You’re welcome. Maybe we’ll have a real out-in-the-open fight on our hands soon.

Before I started blocking people I made repeated efforts to explain myself, and all I was met with was “No you’re a Nazi and you want us to align with Nazis” idiotic straw men. Not one of them ever leaned in with curiosity when I said they were misrepresenting my position. Not one of these horrible people ever DMed me on Twitter, PMed me on Facebook or emailed me to hear my side of things. They decided that they understood me perfectly on their own, and that what they were understanding is that I’m a secret fascist collaborator bent on destroying the left. I don’t know why they did this, but I know it was not for sincere or benevolent reasons.

But now I’ve blocked them, and I’m going to keep them blocked. Partly because I have a hatred of both online brigading and strawman arguments, and partly because I’m just not showing up for a punishment for something I didn’t do. I did not do the thing I’m accused of, and I refuse to be bullied into saying that I did. I wrote a really good article and followed it up with a couple more to expand on its ideas, and I’m not going to say I was wrong because I was not. My understanding is that Progressive Army is accustomed to having people bow to them when they feel the wrath of their brigades, but I’m not going to. I will not.

God this is a long essay. I’ve been typing and typing and it’s so fucking stupid because I know the haters are just going to read it looking for reasons not to believe it. Because it was never about the article I wrote, it was about me.

But whatever. I’ll pin it to the top of my Twitter page and post it in response to every obnoxious “Durr, hurr, you want us to align with the alt-right” comment. I encourage my readers to do the same when they encounter this behavior.

I do not have a platform; I have a few social media accounts and a blog on Medium. The only reason anyone is paying attention to me right now is because I was lifted up by my readers; people like my stuff so they spread it around. I’m not some MSNBC millionaire and I didn’t acquire an audience because I’m related to the producer or gave a blowjob to the anchorman. People keep speaking as though I’ve got no right to share my ideas, as though I should be de-platformed, but I have no platform. I was put here by the crowd.

So Jeffrey St Clair — I see you. You orchestrated this from the start; you published my Facebook stalker’s unholy and confused masturbations, and then you sent in your second-in-command to do clean up when that didn’t work. But he couldn’t write either so you had to step into the light for a moment and get the job done yourself. You were the one who married the words “Caitlin Johnstone” and “white nationalist” in the first paragraph, and after boring us all to death for eleven or more paragraphs about the good old days when you were somewhat relevant, you pressed “publish.”

You never once believed that I support white nationalists. Not for a second was that true in your mind. You understood me perfectly, but you need me gone, so you cracked the knuckles and got to work.

There is no way that someone who’s been around the traps for as long as you has so little knowledge of the media landscape that you would mistake Cernovich for a white nationalist. I don’t buy that. Further, I don’t believe that you wouldn’t know that Richard Spencer is a white nationalist. You are not that stupid. I do not buy that for a second. This was meant.

So you married those two terms in the first para, and that was enough to sufficiently stoke the flames, so you faded into the background to let the mob take over. But I saw you. I saw how you did that. There is nothing more despicable to me than a puppetmaster who doesn’t get his hands dirty, particularly not a pompous old fart like you. I do not forgive you for this. You have created a smear that will dog me for years; you have muted my voice for Christ knows what reason, and in doing so you have impeded all the good that I could have done with it. You poisoned the well. You did that deliberately.

If you ever take me up on that offer to go toe-to-toe in a public debate with me, I will make you regret every life decision you ever made that led you to that moment. You will have nowhere to hide. I see you, I know how you work, and I will gleefully dismantle you from the inside out.

And Ben Norton? Fuck you. Dick.

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