Neo-Nazis are no joke—they just want you to think they are - Macleans.ca
 

Neo-Nazis are no joke—they just want you to think they are

A style guide for a neo-Nazi publication reveals what should be obvious, writes Tabatha Southey: darkness lurks behind their self-parodying ‘humour’


 

Neo-Nazis, alt-right, and white supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“Generally, when using racial slurs, it should come across as half-joking—like a racist joke that everyone laughs at because it’s true,” reads the style guide used by The Daily Stormer, a copy of which the Huffington Post got its hands on this week.

The Daily Stormer is a prominent America-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist website that takes its name and more from Der Stürmer, the tabloid newspaper of the Nazi Party. And what it seems to be saying with that “half-joking” advice and much else in the guide is: “Don the Magic Cloak of Plausible Deniability and come with us!”

This likely won’t come as a surprise to anyone who spends much time online. Many will have observed some of these far, far right fools prancing about under that just-kidding-maybe cover. They do this as if somehow we can’t see exactly what they’re up to, and as if what they’re up to isn’t being Nazis and working to recruit more Nazis.

The style guide instructs prospective contributors on how to use memes, “humour” and “ironic hatred” to “blame the Jews for everything,” that being the site’s “prime directive.” That Jews cause all the bad things “is pretty much objectively true,” says the 17-page primer, apparently penned by site editor Andrew Anglin. “As Hitler says, people will become confused and disheartened if they feel there are multiple enemies. As such, all enemies should be combined into one enemy, which is the Jews.”

The phrase “As Hitler says” is rather the point to that sentence. You use the words “As Hitler says” in that benign, casual, and authoritative way, and it doesn’t much matter what comes after them. You type “As Hitler says, ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’,” and you are telling any burgeoning Goebbels looking for a home for their murderous musings that “yes, we’re those Nazis. Goose-step on over and pull up a chair.”

The guide also provides advice on formatting and grammar, site-specific terminology—“Moslem,” not “Muslim,” is the preferred Daily Stormer house style—along with a list of “racial slurs” that are officially “allowed and advisable” that leaves me wondering what exactly crosses a line.

Think of this document as Strunk and White Power.

MORE: History’s lessons on dealing with Canada’s neo-Nazi groups

Keep it simple, keep it anti-Semitic: This is the guide’s message. Not all problems are created by Jews, aspiring Nazi ghostwriters are encouraged to say, but “if we didn’t have the Jews, we could figure out how to deal with non-whites very easily.” Similarly, “Women should be attacked but there should always be a mention that if it weren’t for Jews they would be acting normally.” “Jews are like hormones” seems to be the gist of it, as far I can tell, but until I hear someone say, “Yes, I ate half a cake and cried to an Adele song, it must be my Jews,” I can’t be certain.

The guide’s acceptable terms for women are, by the way, “Slut, whore, bitch, harlot, trollop, slag, skag.” That some of these words are antiquated to the point of near-whimsicality is by design. “The indoctrinated should not be able to tell if we’re joking,” Anglin explains. Put a funny hat on your hatred, play to the crowd.

Effectively utilizing these jokes—the so-called “lulz” in Internet parlance—is vital, the guide cautions, because “most people are not comfortable with material that come across as vitriolic, raging, non-ironic hatred.” Adding the “lulz”—expressing oneself dead seriously but in the cadence of a joke—throws that Cloak of Plausible Deniability over not just to the writer, but the audience as well. “No, I’m not really consuming literal neo-Nazi propaganda,” an as-yet-unconverted reader can tell themselves. “It’s just dead baby humour.”

“The goal is to continually repeat the same points, over and over and over again,” the guide stresses. “The reader is at first drawn in by curiosity or the naughty humour, and is slowly awakened to reality by repeatedly reading the same points.” It bears repeating that, to the writer of this guide, “awaken to reality” means “embrace genocide.”

We’re living in the Irony Age, and we’re forging it into deadly weapons.

What should be completely avoided by anyone who hopes to get their work featured on The Daily Stormer—where the policy is “if we don’t like [the articles] you can put them on your own blog or whatever, if we accept them for publication we will pay you $14.88”—is the “sometimes mentioned idea that ‘even if we got rid of the Jews we would still have problems.’ ”

“The Jews should always be the beginning and end of every problem,” Anglin cautions. Specifics include “poor family dynamics” and the “destruction of the rainforest.”

MORE: From the archives, ‘My 16 months as a Nazi’

Regardless of whether you were wondering, the “14 words” represent, for neo-Nazis, the words of David Lane, an American white supremacist leader and convicted felon whose mandate was: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Why 88 cents? Because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. That “88” is an abbreviation for the “Heil Hitler” salute. Several photographs found on the website registered to white-supremacist mass murderer Dylann Roof featured the number the 88 and 1488 was written in the sand in one picture. (If I have to learn Nazi numerology, you’re gonna join me.)

If you rolled your eyes as you read that, because it’s difficult to take the whole concept of 1488 — it’s like someone telling you their “lucky lottery numbers” of genocide—the reality is that it has  worked. Somewhere between guessing and guffawing is where StormFront wants you to be, but make no mistake—gassing is where they want this to end.

There’s no ambiguity here. “This is obviously a ploy and I actually do want to gas [Jewish people, but that’s not the term he uses]. But that’s neither here nor there,” writes Anglin, and such an extreme position—and once again, this is a feature not a bug—is sometimes discounted as near-self-parody. Stormfront is not a site you have to go digging about on the net to find; it pops up, I have been sent links, and Anglin warns about the kind of posts that can get them booted off Facebook. But it is sometimes dismissed as too fringe to be worth addressing.

MORE: Why the swastika can’t be rehabilitated 

This ghastly glibness has, however, seeped deeply into the mainstream—even before it was revealed, theirs was basically a playbook in heavy circulation—and everything Stormfront does serves to make much that would have shocked many of us a few years ago start to look comparatively centrist. They’re the reason people get to the thinking that “those guys in Charlottesville with tiki torches were just blowing off steam.”

The internet is a vast, fresh pitch, but we’re watching an old game. “Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre in 1946. “They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves. …They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert.”

FBI statistics released in November show that anti-Semitic incidents accounted for 11 per cent of hate crimes of all types in the United States in 2016, and over 50 per cent of religious hate crimes, a slight increase from the year before. African-Americans, like the people Dylann Roof targeted in their church, account for by far the most number of hate crimes, yet again. This “foolishness” is fuel on a very real fire. It’s time we treated them as such.


 

Neo-Nazis are no joke—they just want you to think they are

  1. What is your bogeyman?

    Mine is a liar.

    For what reason other than conspiracy is the evidence of science and history censored under threat of imprisonment or persecution?

    • Robmisek is a neoNazi who denies the holocaust. So I guess he is his own bogeyman. He’s also dumber than a stump and can’t spell worth a damn.

    • To everyone with an agenda, truth is threatening. They can’t address the facts so they attack people.

      To this idiot, people are Nazis. I’m not, but that’s irrelevant to this anonymous coward.

      Their hateful accusations are meant to obfuscate and intimidate. They are the ideologues of these dark ages.

      Don’t let them have their desired effect on you, or you will be complicit in their agenda. This is not the time for silence or blind acceptance of their claims.

      Value truth. Stand up for it and expose those who lie or try to censor it.

      Every once in a while your irrefutable evidence will contradict someone’s belief or agenda. Rational people will recognize and accept facts and reality. They move forward. Ideologues don’t.

  2. Wherever there is free speech, there is a great deal of foolish speech’

    None of these people speak English, they are just ranting in the street.

    They’ve been after Muslims, and gays, and women and trans and blacks and now Jews again……..without the faintest idea of what those things are.

    It’s just hate, by a bunch of losers

    Young men between 16 and 25 who need a cuff upside the ear.

    They cannot cope with the new era, and they’re frightened.

    • Although I agree it is quite a different matter when you are one of their targets.

      • Everybody is one of their targets.

        Enforce the law.

  3. Hatred is defined by conflict. Only lying causes conflict in speech. Truth is the only thing we can share in peace.

    One groups propaganda is regarded by another group as lies.

    Only by listening to all speech and discerning truth with honesty, intelligence, logic and science can we discard the lies and share the truth.

    The solution isn’t simply tolerance, or we would tolerate lies and corruption and live in peace. That will never happen.

    Either you are up to the task of speaking and listening freely, discerning and sharing truth, or you are the problem.

    If you don’t think we need to share truth, I’ll ask, what makes you believe that to be true?

    • Perhaps you wrote that garbled incoherent mess to avoid saying what you really think. How about you just get to your own point and let us see it. Instead of throwing out vague nonsense that helps you avoid saying what you want to say. Perhaps, like the Richard Spencers of the world, you don’t have the guts.

      • People will learn the true history about Zionism, Germany and Palestine.

        The information is out there for those with the guts to see past their own delusions. But ignorance is bliss and the search for truth in this case results in persecution.

        The propaganda has worked on you. The mere mention of “Nazi” elicits rage and the censored facts don’t matter.

        Fool of propaganda.

  4. That doesn’t make any sense. Who doesn’t want to be taken seriously, especially if one sees themselves as tough and menacing? Very few people in these spaces can even form a proper sentence, but if they could, it would be along the lines of “We are mocking you now, but we could do some real damage if we wanted to.” Still, they have no power or influence with anyone who is anyone, or will be anyone, anytime soon.

    • I think you’ve missed the point. The new breed of Nazis can’t sell Naziism in its blatant form so they’re softening their appearance and language to make Naziism palatable to a broader audience. They’re still genocidal freaks, but genocide isn’t a big sell.

      • I haven’t missed the point at all, the point is that, these are silly people who are far removed from the levers of power. They barely understand what the Nazis were all about, they hate muslims more than jews anyway and nothing my feminist cousin has ever sent, links, newpaper items, etc. as ‘proof they’re out there’ has even touched upon genocide, it’s all “Don’t bring them here/kick them out” which is a pretty weak form of genocide.

  5. The more we promote political correctness and lean further left, the stronger we make the alt right.

    • Correction, if I may.

      The further we lean in any direction, the more vertical, truth, seems like the opposite extreme.

      • Robmisek is incapable of typing a coherent thought. His mind is all word salad.

    • Exactly. If someone questions the benefits of current immigration numbers, they are labelled a racist or xenophobe. A certain number of those who hear that often enough are going to respond by becoming more aggressive and more extreme in their views. Look what’s happening in Continental Europe.

      In the UK, the stay side lost the Brexit vote because of exactly that sort of language. Some of those on the stay side who are more knowledgeable and self-aware have admitted as much. They erred hugely in painting the leave side as xenophobes and bigots. Some were exactly that. But some very reasonable moderate people who were on the fence voted leave out of disgust, and out of a legitimate desire to strip power from the progressive Europhiles.

      Fanatical progressives are the mirror image of evangelical zealots, only more skilled at virtue signalling. It’s blowing up in their faces. Now they’re telling us how scared we should be.

      • Actually, the entire Brexit campaign was lie upon lie by rightwingers and guess where Britain is headed now…towards free trade with China. I predict it will end badly.

    • Yeah, “we’re more left than ever” explains Trump being in power, the Nazis entering Austrian politics, and neoconservatives being in control of most governments. The reality is neoconservatism has dominated politics in the western industrialized world since 1980. There are no left wing governments.

  6. Following the concept of “reality discipline”, someone needs to publish a similar work for how we should deal with neo-nazis. You’d be good at this, Tabatha, but I invite anyone else to step in. They need to be mocked and derided just like they do to others. And, let’s face it, they are a great big joke – it should be easy to create a best-seller and then we can all join in on the mockery.

    • For a start, whenever you run into one, call them “Nazi.” They hate being called Nazis because that’s what they are and they know it’s not saleable. I always say to the Richard Spencers of the world, stand up and be proud of what you are. You’re a Nazi. Own it. What are you, I say, too gutless to admit you’re the Nazi you are?

  7. Richard Spencer, leader of the neoNazis coined “alt-right” to disguise Naziism. Tiki Torch Bearers in Trump Khaki know Naziism leaves a foul taste so they’re inventing new looks. Like Project Runway for Nazis. They’re still Nazis. Call them Nazis. Because they are Nazis.

    • You sure are terrified of free speech.

      Those big bad nazis always coming to get you,

      Like all bogeyman stories you can never know the truth. It spoils all the fun, and that story is a whopper.

      In reality, for what reason other than conspiracy is the evidence of science and history censored under threat of imprisonment or persecution?

      • Over 60 million people died because of Nazis

        Shut up.

        • Komarade E1 how many because of Stalin, Mao and the Kramer Rouge ?? Your Budies…

          • Oh millions of them…..but none of them are my buddies..

            Why on earth would you think that??

          • Yes they were evil too, Robmisek. You get a gold DUH star. I hate to break it to you but the existence of Pol Pot doesn’t cancel out Nazi evil. They are the same thing. Sad that you defend Nazis though. You evil POS.

          • Yes they were evil too, Robmisek. You get a gold DUH star. I hate to break it to you but the existence of Pol Pot doesn’t cancel out Nazi evil. They are the same thing. Sad that you defend Nazis though. You evil POS.

          • And…Robmisek reveals he is a Nazi. Finally, I’ve been waiting for the little shite to fess up. Gutless wonder that he is. Oh hey, Robmisek, stop posting Alex Jones level conspiracy sites. Nobody’s interested in your tin foil hat nonsense.

  8. At least the ‘old’ KKK covered their heads with the white pointy dunce caps,
    but these modern day white nationalist, racists are shameless, marching
    in their everyday attire, despite knowingly being filmed by many smartphones.

  9. The two Mexican comedians laughing it up in Robmisex’s post is, hands down, the sickest thing that I have ever seen on the internet. To quibble about the numbers of Jews (and others) starved, worked to death, tortured and murdered by the Nazis is one thing but, to laugh about it … ? Some of the audience appeared to be going along with the gag too, when people with an ounce of decency should have been storming the stage.

    • “To quibble about the numbers of Jews (and others) starved, worked to death, tortured and murdered by the Nazis is one thing.”

      Yeah, that one thing is NAZI. Nazis deny the history. Those who laugh with them are NAZIS. Those who laugh at them are not. I hope your priorities are straight. “Lee”.

      • Why are you using a Lamarckian image in your handle?

        That image was part of the Nazi politics of racial science!

        • We have quite a few Nazis, or people who think they’re Nazis, on.here.

      • “Nazis deny the history.“

        What does that make people who censor the evidence of history?

      • WTF Helena. I’m trying to figure out if you have limited reading comprehension ability or if you are simply in “attack mode”. Read my post more carefully and, more importantly, read all of the sentence that you quote. Jeezus!

  10. Every once in a while someone will provide irrefutable evidence that contradicts a belief.

    The way you react to that evidence demonstrates your mental state. Are you detached from fact, reality and truth?

    Why would you want to call me a Nazi? I’m not, never have been in fact and can’t foresee any time I would be.

    I do value truth and the evidence of logic, science and history that supports it , wherever it may lead us.

    For what reason other than conspiracy is the evidence of science and history censored under threat of imprisonment or persecution?

    That is a question of logic. It is not as some would suggest, a test for Nazis.

  11. I’m not sure what the debate is here. Do we have freedom of speech in our society or not? If we do, then yes, it extends to nazis. If not, then I ,for one, have a list of other people who we should also muzzle.

  12. The comments involved in debate here are incredible.
    Neo-Nazis are despicable and just a bunch of right leaning evil bastards. Anti-fa, which incorporates The Black Block, are equally despicable and just a bunch of left leaning evil bastards. Both side of the political spectrum has its group of ugly bastards. But somehow, Anti-fa gets little negative publicity from the MSM. Would have been nice to see both of these groups of morons dumped on in this article.

    • Yes these comments do illustrate hypocrisy.

      As i said, the further we lean in any direction, the more vertical, truth, seems like the opposite extreme, I was attacked and slandered.

      The perpetrator appealed that such behaviour was warranted, when it wasn’t.

      Isn’t that the same behaviour of the alt-right and anti-fa that you also advocate attacking.

      I suggest that it is better to take the high road, value truth, the real centre and use it to expose the lies of all extreme ideologues.

  13. I’m sorry I can’t read your articles they are just so badly written.