December 16, 2017


If you’re ever looking for a hearty chuckle, the Nation never fails to deliver. It fashions itself as a “progressive” magazine—if your notion of progress is reviving Marxist nostrums of yesteryear.

There’s nothing much funny about white supremacists. But reading along as a left-wing Nation correspondent hangs out with white supremacists and realizes she shares some political beliefs with them? Well, this should be entertaining.

Writer Donna Minkowitz describes a secret meeting organized by alt-right figure Richard Spencer that she crashed in mid-November at an organic winery in Maryland. Upon arrival, Minkowitz writes that she was surprised to find that the discussion centered not only on the usual brown-shirt Jew-hating you might expect from neo-Nazis, but also on what she says is a “new emphasis on economic issues” that she found “seductive.”

Why seductive? Because the white supremacists’ views on economic issues sound a lot like, well, like views espoused by the Nation and Democratic party progressives. In what could pass for Bernie Sanders campaign literature, she quotes Spencer saying “I support national health care” and railing against “the trillions spent in insane wars.” Minkowitz also quotes Spencer blasting the GOP tax plan as “stupid .  .  . Reaganite nostalgia” and supporting a universal basic income. Another speaker decried that everything is seemingly becoming “corporatized and capitalized.” Wait—is this a white supremacist conference or a New York Times editorial board meeting?

Ahh, it’s always amusing to watch international socialists and National Socialists court each other and stumble upon how much they have in common (and not just on economic issues). The inevitable breakup is going to be awfully painful, however.

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