Nationalism - the natural collective commitment on the part of the members of a society and/or culture to its economic and political defense, its survival and its perpetuation, not limited by the concept of non-geographical or non-territorial "nation-state" (commercial religious monopolies erroneously known as "governments.") Michael Bakunin aptly and rightly claimed that "the "negative component' of nationalism is just as essential as the 'positive component' and inseparable from it." Class collaboration and cultural identity cannot be readily decoupled in reality—maybe as a goal—but not in reality. Racism/white supremacy must be addressed and dismantled before any class-unification or cross-collaboration can be successful in bringing about more economic equality or even liberation for the people (dwellers upon the land) in the absence of any politically institutionalized hierarchy of imperialist white male domination and dehumanizing subjugation of humans through the trickery of statutes and by-laws that enforce compelled performance to same. [MORE]
From [US News] Days after President Donald Trump took the oath of office, news emerged that his campaign director, Steve Bannon, would have a permanent seat on the National Security Council. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of National Intelligence, however, would not. Among a fantasia of reactions, most of them negative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Bannon's "stunning" appointment would serve to make "America less safe."
In normal times, Pelosi's remarks would not be seen as partisan. Trump is everyone's president when it comes to life-and-death matters of national security. That's what it means "to faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States." That's why national security is for people of integrity and wisdom who advise the president in times of crisis. It isn't for speechwriters and hacks.
We do not live in normal times, however. Pelosi's comments were immediately seen as partisan, because she twice referred to Bannon as a white supremacist. That remark was indeed jarring, but not inaccurate. Bannon has been explicit about his promotion of the so-called "alt-right" as the head of Breitbart News. The "alt-right," as every honest person knows, is a rebranding of white supremacy.
News reports focused naturally on Pelosi's use of "white supremacist." Mostly missing were the dots she and other leading Democrats are connecting between white supremacy – often called white nationalism – and U.S. national security. The Trump administration is young. It has time to take unexpected twists and turns. But given what we know, it would not be surprising if the Democrats begin mounting a more strident case to the electorate that white nationalism is a direct threat to everyone's security.
This, of course, is not news to those threatened already by white nationalism. Since Trump's inauguration, we have seen bomb threats called into hundreds of synagogues and mosques, and we have seen a white man demanding his victims "get out of my country" before shooting them. All of this has occurred with almost no reaction from a demagogue who solidified his base of power by questioning for years the legitimacy of America's first black president.
But some people isn't most people, and the fact remains that most Americans are immune to the dangers, or blind to the existence, of white nationalism. They are white. Because it takes majorities to win in politics, the Democrats will need to convince a majority that white nationalism poses a clear and present danger to all. Thanks to Trump's incompetence, the task is made less challenging.
A border wall is white nationalism in concrete form, but Trump never thought through how to pay for it. Because Mexico can't be forced to pay, he is left with two options: One, levy a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports. Two, slash the budgets of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of State and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. While the former option threatens every consumer's wallet, the latter threatens everyone's security.
But Russia is the most biggest link in the chain connecting white nationalism to threats to national security. After the global recession, and after decades of feeling the shame of a fallen superpower, Russia began poking the West's socioeconomic soft spots.
It funded right-wing parties in European nations coming to grips with refugee crises. It escalated the Syrian civil war, bombing civilians indiscriminately and guaranteeing that refugees poured into Europe, heightening tensions there. It mounted disinformation campaigns to support right-wing candidates vowing to bring Christian civilization back from the brink of "white genocide." And it hacked the computers of Hillary Clinton's allies to cut the legs out from under her campaign and lift the chances of a populist candidate who promised to ban Muslims, deport "illegals" and make America great again.
The link between white nationalists and Russia was not apparent before November. We knew aides Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page and Jeff Sessions had contacts with the Russians, but we did not know the degree to which they now appeared to have been enmeshed. When Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King blasted President Barack Obama in 2015 for "importing millions of illegal aliens" to register them as Democrats, we thought it was the same dog-whistle politics we have come to expect from Republicans.
The link is becoming apparent. It turns out that Trump himself met with the Russian ambassador, as did Trump's aides. We don't know if Trump agreed to lift Russian sanctions in exchange for Russia's help in winning the election. We do know that Wikileaks released DNC emails after their meeting. And on Sunday, King, who urged Trump in August to go to the wall on "illegals," tweeted his support for Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician rising to power who is looked on favorably by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
King said that "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." This is catnip to white nationalists. To them, diversity, or "somebody's else babies," will lead to "white genocide" or the collapse of "our civilization." That's why prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer re-tweeted King's comment, adding "The 15 words." He recognized that King's tweet echoes the 14 words of a white nationalist slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
For his part, Spencer made headlines after the election by invoking Nazism at a Washington panel discussion. He said: "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" Spencer is frequently on RT, Russia's so-called news network.
Russia is puny, economically and militarily. But a country does not have to be strong to injure us in small devious ways: by eroding trust in democratic institutions, by inflaming racial hatreds, by exploiting the warped thinking of a major political party.
Indeed, from Putin's view it's hard to imagine a more accommodating president. Trump's policies will quicken climate change, worsen global inequities and divide the U.S. from its European allies. If you're a weak power destabilizing a superpower from the inside without arousing suspicion, you win, bigly.
The Democrats have only begun using language to suggest we were attacked during the election by a hostile foreign power. They have not yet made explicit the connection between that hostile foreign power and home-grown white nationalists who are rotting America from the inside, a rot our enemies would like to see grow. When they make the connection, the Democrats may end up convincing a majority that white nationalism is a threat to national security.