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Boogaloo = Boogie Man

Published by marco on

The article Meet the Censored: Live Streamers by Matt Taibbi (SubStack) includes a description of what the Boogaloos are like when you actually bother to cover them and ask them what they stand for (instead of just triggering on CNN’s description of them).

“According to Fischer, the Twitter announcement didn’t exactly make sense, because the protesters in Ohio were more of a libertarian ilk, and, as Farina and Chariton discovered in the Virginia crowd, not so clearly aligned with Trump as Twitter and other media outlets may have imagined. Fischer has frequently covered events involving the gun-toting Boogaloos, whom he describes as anti-authoritarian and less likely to be Trumpists than to profess a pox-on-both-houses attitude to Trump and Joe Biden both (“You might hear something like, ‘Unless you put Ron Paul on the ballot, I’m not voting,’” he says).

The article YouTube personality Jimmy Dore promotes fascist Boogaloo Boy by Eric London (WSWS) is a fantastic example of everything that’s wrong with the authoritarian, smug, purity-testing left.

London writes,

“The affluent social layer Dore represents are hostile to the social interests of the working class and impressed by the gun-toting group of real estate agents, small businessmen and independent contractors who stormed the Capitol on Trump’s orders on January 6.”

This is not true in any real way. It’s for some unknown reason shooting down a potential powerful ally. How many 45-minute videos does Dore need to make with him literally yelling about the elite betraying the working class and poor before this idiot at the WSWS will deign to consider him a fellow traveler? Never?

“As for Dore, his own movement to the right is propelled by a more personal trait: stupidity.”

So Dore is “moving to the right” and “stupid”. Gotcha. Ad hominem attacks without so much as a link or quote of proof. Ludicrous. Utterly beneath the editorial quality of much of the rest of the site. Shockingly bad.

The comments show several people fighting back but there are a ton of commenters gate-keeping socialism by claiming that no-one who isn’t poor could possibly speak for the working class. That is, if you’re not poor, you are the enemy. That’s a great tactic, honestly: make sure you attack any potential ally, especially if they might have the power to enact your agenda.

Obviously, you should continue to question their motives. As you should anyone’s really. For example, the author of this piece, Eric London, is a petty person with no journalistic character to his writing whatsoever and yet he has a job as, at least, a stringer at the WSWS, giving him the cachet of looking like a socialist.

London writes just like a common American liberal, corraling people into groups without evidence, brigading people for no reason other than he’s seen them brigaded by others. He didn’t watch or listen to the interview. He had his opinion before he started and then wrote an article, safe in the knowledge that no-one else would bother watching the interview, either.

This article is a garbage hit piece that completely ignores the content of the video. It doesn’t even link the video.

In the video, Dore interviewed a member of the Boogaloo Boys who gave a speech that you couldn’t really argue with. He’s apparently not even 100% straight (Dore: mine’s Jude Law; … Boogaloo: Orlando Bloom).

Is this supposed to be misleading? Is he lying about his sexual orientation to … what? Convince real socialists he’s an ally so he can infiltrate their ranks and then what? Get at the real power in America? Why would he lie about supporting literally every issue that seems important? Why misrepresent his entire agenda? Why, in other words, should I believe an obviously butthurt author on the WSWS like Eric London, who claims that Dore and Panvidya have a completely different agenda than they themselves actually espouse, when he does so without any evidence whatsoever? Do we just believe him because Jimmy Dore bad and Boogaloo bad—just because CNN says so? And now, apparently, the WSWS?

The Boogaloos are, essentially, libertarians. This is not great, of course, because politically, they’re not great at explaining how to help poor people without a welfare state. They espouse concern, but that’s all. They want smaller communities to come together and help out. That way, generally, lies expression of racism in policy and a whole bunch of failed attempts. But that doesn’t make them actual fascists for thinking that they can make it work this time. It makes them naive and in for a rude awakening, should they try to stick to their espoused principles without drifting into socialism.

Here’s the video that London was writing about:

Radicalized Michigan Anarchist Seeks Unity With The Left. by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

Dore: So, you reach out to BLM. You reach out to Antifa. The Boogaloo Boys reach out to Antifa. […] You’re anti-war, you’re for peace, you’re against racism, you’re against police brutality, what are some other things?

Magnus Panvidya: Pro sex work, decriminalization, legalize all drugs, end all the wars, close the ICE detainment camps. […]

“[…] This is where we butt heads with conservative groups all the time—because we’re anti-police. […] This is top vs. bottom, not left vs. right. We can argue about healthcare when we’re not dropping bombs on foreign countries. We can talk about how much money to put into education when people aren’t having their doors kicked in and being killed in their homes because they [the police] turned up at the wrong address. There are more important things going on.

Dore: So, we would agree on the war; we would agree on the corporate control of our government; we would agree on police brutality; we’re not going to agree on the second amendment, […] I go back and forth, but I’m back to being against guns again […]”

Magnus Panvidya: We essentially live under a fascist state. If you define fascism as corporations and government working together [the original/classic definition], you see the secret bailouts, you see the public bailouts, you see how these big corporations can do almost anything and they never go under. You never hear about these mega-corporations making a big mistake and falling apart, like they’re supposed to do under capitalism. They last forever. And, definitely, they’re so in alignment, they work so hand in hand [with government] that I don’t even consider them private companies.

Dore: What do you think are some of the solutions? How do we fix the war problem?

Magnus Panvidya: I think if we’re talking in the realms of the cleanest and least-violent way to do it, I think mass non-participation, mass strikes, tax strikes, stop getting involved. […] If you’re going to use my tax dollars to blow up brown kids in the Middle East, I’m not going to pay taxes anymore.”

This is a Libertarian solution, of course, but it’s not diametrically opposed to a socialist cause. There’s a lot of common ground.

Alex Jones has accused Panvidya of being a “paid CIA informant try to destroy the second amendment.”

Magnus Panvidya: Free Julian Assange. Free Ross Ulbricht [Silk Road]. Free Edward Snowden. Free Chelsea Manning. [again]”

Dore: It’s going to be fun watching people twist this interview, to somehow attack us.

Magnus Panvidya: They’ll just say that I’m lying about all this, that I’m making it up to reach out to the left and that we’re secretly infiltrating all of these groups […]”

They won’t even bother to do that. They’ll just report the video without ever having even watched it. They wouldn’t even do Panvidya the service of actually listening to what he says and then lying about it. They’ll just lie about it. It’s faster that way.

This isn’t a softball interview. Just because the guy gave the “right” answers doesn’t mean the questions were easy. He could have, at any point, gone off-trail and said horrific things, but he didn’t. Dore drills him at the end about not 100% supporting single-payer. Panvidya argues that the government sucks at it, just like it sucks at fixing roads.

Dore says that it’s only because we’re under a “failed state” (with which Panvidya agree) that government doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean it can’t work. Dore probably didn’t convince him, but neither was it a bad discussion. It’s the kind of discussion you have to have hundreds of times in order to convince people. It’s the work you need to do on the ground, instead of just yelling at people for not having the same opinions as you already have.

Magnus ends the interview with a plea to help the Boogaloos root out Neonazis from their ranks. If someone sees a Nazi who says they’re a Boogaloo, hit Magnus up on Twitter so “we can take care of him”. That sounded kind of ominous, but it seemed earnest enough.

The interview segment did not include the interview with “SEP member and World Socialist Web Site Labor Editor Jerry White” nor was I able to find the interview anywhere, so I assume that it went unpublished at White’s request. This left London free to make up whatever story he wanted about how the interview went. He certainly took a free hand with describing this interview.

Class Solidarity or 'Deplorables'? – The Left's Failed Messaging. by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

Dore:I think they do a lot of great work over at WSWS—we feature their work here all the time—but you’re going to see why they’re misguided and they’re bound to lose. Because they have no idea how to reach out to people who are aligned with themselves ideologically. He has no idea how to reach out to that guy. That guy who I brought on my show. Go watch the interview. The sweetest guy. He’s been unemployed, he’s gotten no COVID relief, he’s pro-LGBT, he’s pro-BLM, he’s anti-war, and he hates both the parties.

“That seems like a guy who would be ripe for a socialist party to have a message to help that guy help that guy come over to the other side. That’s what they’re supposed to do. In fact, it’s incumbent on them to have a recruiting message for people like that. Because, as we all know, economic disasters create people who are ripe to be taken over by right-wing demagogues. So that’s why, if you’re a true socialist or a leftist, you’ve got to get to them. You’ve got to have a message for them. Especially someone who’s as open-minded as that guy [Magnus].”

White accuses Dore of “flirting with Libertarians”, as if Dore was being lulled into Naziism without him even knowing it. You can’t even talk to anyone who’s not already a socialist. If they’re a libertarian, you cut them off as a lost cause without investing a second in trying to get them to work with you on what you must think is the right cause, the answer, socialism.

Dore asks him how White would reach out to someone like Magnus and White responded that he doesn’t reach out to him because “he’s the enemy […] we fight them.” People like White are so identitarian that, when they see a label, they literally don’t care about the content, they care about the label. They also no longer care about whether the meaning they’ve attached to that label might be wrong.

He just said that “the Boogaloo boys are an extreme right-wing organization” and that anyone who claims to hold other viewpoints and is in that organization is deluded and has been fooled into being part of a right-wing organization, without them even knowing it. White knows this better. He doesn’t care about whether they’re workers and people and citizens.

Dore: So you don’t reach out to those people who agree with you on certain topics. You don’t reach out to other Americans who are workers? If they disagree with you politically, they’re not workers anymore?”

White went on to describe how fascist the guest was, at which point Dore just lost it and took a much stronger tone, which was 100% called-for. Discussions get heated and when you see someone utterly misrepresenting what you just both literally watched, there is no need to let him go on at length. This is not a formal debate. Dore gave the guy more than enough chances to talk straight and he was insistent on promoting a narrative that was directly contravened by evidence presented in the same discussion.

Dore: That’s what not the fucking guy was saying, Jerry. You’re putting words in his mouth. Jerry, that’s not what he was saying. You’re just making shit up now. That guy was anti-racist. He was anti-racist. You’re arguing something that we’re not even fucking talking about, Jerry. That’s not what that guy was saying. You’re making a caricature of him. He said the exact opposite of everything you just said. That is not helpful, Jerry.”

I completely understand why Dore went off. It was a grave injustice and not serious in any way what White was trying to do. I would have steamrolled him, too, probably with the same volume and profanity as Dore.

Jimmy Dore finished with:

“Jerry White, editor of the WSWS. We wish you great success in your work, organizing workers, that’s great work. That’s amazing, that you’re doing that. Let us know if we can help out. We love the work you do, at the WSWS. It’s a real socialist web site, unlike other socialist web sites. I don’t mind having a spirited … dispute … or whatever you would call it … a discussion with you. So, I appreciate you coming on and doing that and presenting your point of view and, again, continue your great work. We’d love to have you on again, buddy.”

He was polite and earnest and he showed how you debate and discuss—and get heated—without retaining acrimony. No hard feelings.

Instead, they just sneer that Magnus failed the economic wokeness purity test without even trying to educate him for one second. Terrible.

Instead of reaching out, this idiot London just goes straight down the rabbit hole, calling Alex Jones an “outright fascist”, which is infantile.

“The Boogaloo member began by telling Dore he was a “long time fan” of Dore’s program, intimating that Dore attracts other fascist viewers.”

This writer is an infant. An absolute child who is so much a part of the problem. He will cause more damage than he will ever be able to heal. It’s a shame because the WSWS is a very nice web site, with eminently clever people like Andre Damon.

This article is far beneath the tenor of most of the rest of the material on the site. It would be stupid and misleading as a blog post, but it’s much worse for its prominence on the WSWS web site.

How am I so sure that Dore isn’t the enemy? Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, and Cornel West are unabashed fans and supporters and have appeared on his show several times. Cornel West has called him a “national treasure”. But Eric London of the WSWS knows better and calls him a proto-fascist.