NAME: Keith Preston
Once again we have a scumbag that tries to use Anarchism to advance his fascism. It happens a lot, never works, but still we get these idiots who think that if they say they are anarchists that makes it okay to be a Nazi. This happens often with the more Libertarian-minded fascists, the ones who pretend to make people find common ground in what we all have issues with, while ignoring our conflicts, which are always racism, sexism and/or anti-Semitism. The kicker: they like all the racism sexism and/or anti-Semitism, so in truth is they are trying to get the public to give them a pass on such things.
Now the libertarians who do this are bad enough, but when you are someone that comes out of straight up Anarchist circles and think you can still be down with that while working and supporting Fascists, it's pretty much an insult to be surprised that people treat you like the Nazi you are. The blog Attack the System is all about this third positionist bullshit, and the fact that it is blocked by the Philiadelphia Library system is a good sign that it isn't fooling anyone.
Attack the System is run by Keith Preston, who also heads up some outfit called the American Revolutionary Vanguard, a group that Infoshop.org has listed among the many attempts "by neo-nazis to pass themselves and their ideas off as compatible with anarchism." On his Facebook page, he lists his political views as "Anarchist/Anarcho-Pluralist, Secessionist, Third-Positionist, Libertarian Socialist", so we know right away how much of a scumbag he is. But let's throw some more wood on this fire. According to the blog nostate.com, he likes to push "a sort of meta-strategy for anarchism which aims at pluralism and ecumenicalism and which suggests that all anti-state tendencies ought to unite against the principal enemy of liberty, the state itself, in preference to choosing lesser targets of activist action such as sexism, racism, homophobia and so on." In other words, we should focus on the problems with the state and not be distracted by what even we would considet the byproduct of those problems.
On the face, that would be a great strategy. Even the guy from nostate.com says that. But he also notes something else. Were we to ignore those "lesser targets" or sexism racism and homophobia, we will also ignore the fact that Preston is a sexist, racist homophobe and that it is a part of his political agenda! The nostate author notes that in one of his columns, Preston says the following:
"Do we really attract more people into our ranks by having so many self-hating whites, bearded ladies, cock-ringed queers, or persons of one or another surgically altered "gender identity" in our midst? Is this really something the average rebellious young person wants to be associated with? Could we not actually attract more young rebels into our ranks if all of this stuff was absent? I believe we could."
Reading that column gives us a nice snapshot of Keith Preston and it is enough to put this guy in the crackpot category. He says he started off working with progressive groups (we will get to that in a minute), but eventually broke away from those circles after realizing they were about these weird notions like social justice and stuff. After joining the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s, he eventually started reading more right-wing fare, particularly books by black conservatives like Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams, the go-to apologists for everything white and racist (Williams has even given props to American Renaissance's Jared Taylor on the jacket of his book Paved With Good Intentions). Preston was pretty much on the fast track to stupid at this point, and started to write essays and op-ed pieces that were geared towards that lunatic fringe right, but with this weird, convoluted attempt to draw anarchism in as well. Never mind the fact that he was attacking anarchists in these writings, such as when he goes after Noam Chomsky for being critical (to underscore a fact) of Ron Paul. The pieces are also always long and drawn out as it if Preston is trying to over compensate for the fact that is ideas are crap.
He still tries to play like he's an anarchist, but the fact that he touts himself as some sort of big player in anarchist circles due to his supposed history in those circles prompts us to clarify a few things. According to Keith, he was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), served on the national board of the Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA), and participated in the Love and Rage Network in the late 1980s. "I could probably write a book on my misadventures with the anarcho-leftoids," he wrote. I was at the 1989 Chicago conference where "Love and Rage", initially a tabloid that eventually became the basis for a federation, was launched. Those people were idiots. Mostly, they were a mixture of ex-Trots and molotov types."
We were able to contact some Love and Rage members to help us get an understanding of this, and let's just say there were no fond memories of this guy. "Keith Preston was never a member of Love and Rage," one wrote. "He was a member of the Workers Solidarity Alliance and attended the founding conference of Love and Rage in Chicago in November 1989 where he aligned himself with a couple members of group called Some Chicago Anarchists who were openly hostile to the project and basically came to bait the members of the RSL (the Revolutionary Socialist League, who were defunct at this time, it's ex-members being one of the driving forces behind Love and Rage)."
The Love and Rage contact went on to say that there was a concern about alienating Preston because unlike Some Chicago Anarchists, they did not know him and he was the only person to come from outside of Chicago who wasn't all that fond of the project everyone had embarked on. Not only that, they didn't want to have an antagonistic relationship with the WSA. Preston did indeed use the WSA newspaper Ideas and Action to publish an attack on Love and Rage, and when the Love and Rage folks read it, they knew then that they were spot-on about this guy.
"The only thing I remember of the piece was that it took great exception to the reference in the L&R Political Statement of 'the special oppression of Black people' which Preston suggested was no more special than the oppression of left-handed people. With that comment we all felt that we were well rid of him. While I never heard any suggestion that he was a Nazi, the guy clearly had issues with our emphasis on anti-racism. I don't know how long after that he remained in the WSA."
For the record, the Workers Solidarity Alliance is a solid group, and while the people we contacted there remembered his membership, he was not anyone who created such a splash that they would remember when or how he left. According to the WSA source, he might have just dropped out and it is possible that he was indeed rethinking his politics. But was it a rethinking of politics or associations? In regards to the issues with anti-racism, Keith has explained his aversion to dealing with racial oppression in the past by writing, "I never shared the rather dogmatic views that most of these people have on race, gender, sexuality and ecology, which seemed to me to be hysterical and one-sided."
Okay fine, but what he ends up doing is hooking up with those who push dogmatic views against other races, genders and sexuality! And yes, he has a long, drawn out piece on his blog trying to explain it, when in truth "I'm a racist, sexist, homophobic, separatist dirtbag" would have sufficed. In his piece "Why I Choose to Collaborate with Racialists and Theocrats", he tries to make the argument for racial and religious separation saying that while the Jim Crow era is done and will never come back, that doesn't mean there can't be an effort made to separate the races, something he feels must be done since white nationalists and Christian theocrats feel soooo oppressed. "The idea that the relatively peaceful, relatively voluntary, decentralized separatism...is totalitarian or fascistic while the present system of authoritarian multiculturalism, coercive integrationism and state-managed 'equality', with the state peering into every corner of society to make that no one is ever discriminated against, is somehow libertarian or democratic is absurd," he wrote, not realizing how absurd he sounds.
In addition to his work on Attack the System, Preston was a contributing editor for Dick Spencer's old blog Alternative Right when he ran it. He is also spoke at two conferences Spencer was associated with, one being the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference in Sept. 2011, NPI being an organization listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group of which Spencer is executive director, and the other in November of that year for the H.L. Mencken Club, which Spencer co-founded. Rolling with Spencer, and the DC paleoconservative crowd pretty much means, in the interest of full disclosure, that he has a particular bone to pick with One People's Project, particularly because of our part in causing hotels and other venues to shut their doors to the American Renaissance Conference two years in a row, as evidenced by a post on his blog:
(I)f they continue to get away with this kind of stuff, they will likely use similar tactics against other ideological opponents. For instance, the One Peoples Project was apparently one of the main groups behind this incident. On their "Rogues’ Gallery" page they list a lot of people who cannot in any way be considered white nationalists or racialists including paleocon John Derbyshire (whom, I believe, is married to an Asian woman), black conservative Jesse Peterson, Michelle Malkin (a Filipino with admittedly disgusting political views), Marc Epstein (who is half-Korean/half-Jewish), Charlton Heston and Jerry Falwell (both deceased, and neither with any remote connection to Neo-Nazis).
In other words, to be a "rogue" and be on these peoples’ hit list, one only has to be a non-leftoid.
See that? He made an important point for us and didn't even know it. Consider this: He mentioned a number of people who, as he correctly points out, have certain traits that would normally not endear them to the white power scene, but despite a rather bold mischaracterization on Keith's part, managed to do so regardless. Now take a look at Mr. Keith Preston, someone who calls himself an anarchist but feels more comfortable around Nazis than he would someone who wants to fight for social justice for all. Wolves in sheep's clothing are nothing new, but as Keith himself points out in his posting, it is apparent that right-wing racists are relying on those kinds of wolves to maintain themselves in a ever-growing diverse society. Keith is one of those wolves, and despite what he says, it's more than being a non-leftoid that gets you in the Gallery. Being a shady asshole that pushes to undercut everyone else's rights and freedoms is pretty much key.